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M channel KCNQ2 subunits are localized to key sites for control of neuronal network oscillations and synchronization in mouse brain.

E C Cooper, E Harrington, Y N Jan, L Y Jan

J. Neurosci., 2001 Dec 15 , 21, 9529-40

Mutations in the potassium channel subunit KCNQ2 lead to benign familial neonatal convulsions, a dominantly inherited form of generalized epilepsy. In heterologous cells, KCNQ2 expression yields voltage-gated potassium channels that activate slowly (tau, approximately 0.1 sec) at subthreshold membrane potentials. KCNQ2 associates with KCNQ3, a homolog, to form heteromeric channels responsible for the M current (I(M)) in superior cervical ganglion (SCG) neurons. Muscarinic acetylcholine and peptidergic receptors inhibit SCG I(M), causing slow EPSPs and enhancing excitability. Here, we use KCNQ2N antibodies, directed against a conserved N-terminal portion of the KCNQ2 polypeptide, to localize KCNQ2-containing channels throughout mouse brain. We show that KCNQ2N immunoreactivity, although widespread, is particularly concentrated at key sites for control of rhythmic neuronal activity and synchronization. In the basal ganglia, we find KCNQ2N immunoreactivity on somata of dopaminergic and parvalbumin (PV)-positive (presumed GABAergic) cells of the substantia nigra, cholinergic large aspiny neurons of the striatum, and GABAergic and cholinergic neurons of the globus pallidus. In the septum, GABAergic, purinergic, and cholinergic neurons that contribute to the septohippocampal and septohabenular pathways exhibit somatic KCNQ2 labeling. In the thalamus, GABAergic nucleus reticularis neurons that regulate thalamocortical oscillations show strong labeling. In the hippocampus, many PV-positive and additional PV-negative interneurons exhibit strong somatic staining, but labeling of pyramidal and dentate granule somata is weak. There is strong neuropil staining in many regions. In some instances, notably the hippocampal mossy fibers, evidence indicates this neuropil staining is presynaptic.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11739564