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Somatodendritic depolarization-activated potassium currents in rat neostriatal cholinergic interneurons are predominantly of the A type and attributable to coexpression of Kv4.2 and Kv4.1 subunits.

W J Song, T Tkatch, G Baranauskas, N Ichinohe, S T Kitai, D J Surmeier

J. Neurosci., 1998 May 1 , 18, 3124-37

Unlike other neostriatal neurons, cholinergic interneurons exhibit spontaneous, low-frequency, repetitive firing. To gain an understanding of the K+ channels regulating this behavior, acutely isolated adult rat cholinergic interneurons were studied using whole-cell voltage-clamp and single-cell reverse transcription-PCR techniques. Cholinergic interneurons were identified by the presence of choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) mRNA. Depolarization-activated potassium currents in cholinergic interneurons were dominated by a rapidly inactivating, K+-selective A current that became active at subthreshold potentials. Depolarizing prepulses inactivated this component of the current, leaving a delayed, rectifier-like current. Micromolar concentrations of Cd2+ dramatically shifted the voltage dependence of the A current without significantly affecting the delayed rectifier. The A-channel antagonist 4-aminopyridine (4-AP) produced a voltage-dependent block (IC50, approximately 1 mM) with a prominent crossover at millimolar concentrations. On the other hand, TEA preferentially blocked the sustained current component at concentrations <10 mM. Single-cell mRNA profiling of subunits known to give rise to rapidly inactivating K+ currents revealed the coexpression of Kv4.1, Kv4.2, and Kv1.4 mRNAs but low or undetectable levels of Kv4.3 and Kv3.4 mRNAs. Kv1.1, beta1, and beta2 subunit mRNAs, but not beta3, were also commonly detected. The inactivation recovery kinetics of the A-type current were found to match those of Kv4.2 and 4.1 channels and not those of Kv1.4 or Kv1. 1 and beta1 channels. Immunocytochemical analysis confirmed the presence of Kv4.2 but not Kv1.4 subunits in the somatodendritic membrane of ChAT-immunoreactive neurons. These results argue that the depolarization-activated somatodendritic K+ currents in cholinergic interneurons are dominated by Kv4.2- and Kv4. 1-containing channels. The properties of these channels are consistent with their playing a prominent role in governing the slow, repetitive discharge of interneurons seen in vivo.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9547221