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Kainic acid-induced generalized seizures alter the regional hippocampal expression of the rat Kv4.2 potassium channel gene.

J Francis, D G Jugloff, N S Mingo, M C Wallace, O T Jones, W M Burnham, J H Eubanks

Neurosci. Lett., 1997 Aug 29 , 232, 91-4

Potassium channels play a key role in the regulation of membrane excitability. We investigated the gene expression response of the Kv4.2 subtype of potassium channel, in the rat hippocampus, to a brief (5 min) episode of kainic acid-induced seizures. Our results demonstrate that Kv4.2 expression is reduced in the granule cell layer of the dentate gyrus at 3 h post-seizure, while no significant changes in expression are observed in other hippocampal subfields. At 6 h post-challenge, expression in both dentate hilar cells and granule cells is reduced, while no other significant changes are observed. At 24 h post-challenge, expression levels for Kv4.2 in the dentate granule cells have rebounded to levels greater than control, while expression levels are significantly reduced in the CA3 and CA4 subfields. No significant changes in Kv4.2 expression are observed in kainic acid-administered animals that fail to seize, indicating that the changes in gene expression result from seizure activity and not from the direct actions of the administered kainic acid. These results demonstrate that brief kainic acid-induced epileptiform activity promotes alterations in the expression levels for the Kv4.2 subtype of potassium channel gene.