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Kv4 potassium channels modulate hippocampal EPSP-spike potentiation and spatial memory in rats.

Bruno Truchet, Christine Manrique, Leam Sreng, Franck A Chaillan, François S Roman, Christiane Mourre

Learn. Mem., 2012 , 19, 282-93

Kv4 channels regulate the backpropagation of action potentials (b-AP) and have been implicated in the modulation of long-term potentiation (LTP). Here we showed that blockade of Kv4 channels by the scorpion toxin AmmTX3 impaired reference memory in a radial maze task. In vivo, AmmTX3 intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) infusion increased and stabilized the EPSP-spike (E-S) component of LTP in the dentate gyrus (DG), with no effect on basal transmission or short-term plasticity. This increase in E-S potentiation duration could result from the combination of an increase in excitability of DG granular cells with a reduction of GABAergic inhibition, leading to a strong reduction of input specificity. Radioactive in situ hybridization (ISH) was used to evaluate the amounts of Kv4.2 and Kv4.3 mRNA in brain structures at different stages of a spatial learning task in naive, pseudoconditioned, and conditioned rats. Significant differences in Kv4.2 and Kv4.3 mRNA levels were observed between conditioned and pseudoconditioned rats. Kv4.2 and Kv4.3 mRNA levels were transiently up-regulated in the striatum, nucleus accumbens, retrosplenial, and cingulate cortices during early stages of learning, suggesting an involvement in the switch from egocentric to allocentric strategies. Spatial learning performance was positively correlated with the levels of Kv4.2 and Kv4.3 mRNAs in several of these brain structures. Altogether our findings suggest that Kv4 channels could increase the signal-to-noise ratio during information acquisition, thereby allowing a better encoding of the memory trace.