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Identification and localization of K+ channels in the mouse retina.

D J Klumpp, E J Song, L H Pinto

Vis. Neurosci., 1995 Nov-Dec , 12, 1177-90

Voltage-gated potassium channels are differentially expressed in the brain, and recent studies have shown that K+ channels show subcellular localization. We characterized the distribution of five different K+ channels in the mouse retina. Each channel was distributed in a unique pattern in the retina and was localized to specific subcellular domains within a given retinal neuron. Kv1.4 and Kv4.2 were consistently found in axonal and somatodendritic portions, respectively, consistent with previous studies in brain. In contrast, Kv1.2, Kv1.3, and Kv2.1 showed variable subcellular distribution depending upon cellular context. These results suggest that no one K+ channel is distributed over the entire length of the neuron to provide a "housekeeping" level of membrane potential stabilization. Instead, we propose that each K+ channel is associated with a specific subcellular functional module, and each local K+ conductance responds uniquely to local voltage and second messenger signals.