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Rapid, bidirectional remodeling of synaptic NMDA receptor subunit composition by A-type K+ channel activity in hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons.

Sung-Cherl Jung, Jinhyun Kim, Dax A Hoffman

Neuron, 2008 Nov 26 , 60, 657-71

The transient, A-type K+ current (IA) controls the excitability of CA1 pyramidal neuron dendrites by regulating the back-propagation of action potentials and by shaping synaptic input. Dendritic A-type K+ channels are targeted for modulation during long-term potentiation (LTP) and we have recently shown that activity-dependent internalization of the A-type channel subunit Kv4.2 enhances synaptic currents. However, the effect of changes in IA on the ability to induce subsequent synaptic plasticity (metaplasticity) has not been investigated. Here, we show that altering functional Kv4.2 expression level leads to a rapid, bidirectional remodeling of CA1 synapses. Neurons exhibiting enhanced IA showed a decrease in relative synaptic NR2B/NR2A subunit composition and did not exhibit LTP. Conversely, reducing IA by expression of a Kv4.2 dominant-negative or through genomic knockout of Kv4.2 led to an increased fraction of synaptic NR2B/NR2A and enhanced LTP. Bidirectional synaptic remodeling was mimicked in experiments manipulating intracellular Ca2+ and dependent on spontaneous activation of NMDA receptors and CaMKII activity. Our data suggest that A-type K+ channels are an integral part of a synaptic complex that regulates Ca2+ signaling through spontaneous NMDAR activation to control synaptic NMDAR expression and plasticity.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19038222