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The role of Kv3-type potassium channels in cerebellar physiology and behavior.

Rolf H Joho, Edward C Hurlock

Cerebellum, 2009 Sep , 8, 323-33

Different subunits of the Kv3 subfamily of voltage-gated potassium (Kv) channels (Kv3.1-Kv3.4) are expressed in distinct neuronal subpopulations in the cerebellum. Behavioral phenotypes in Kv3-null mutant mice such as ataxia with prominent hypermetria and heightened alcohol sensitivity are characteristic of cerebellar dysfunction. Here, we review how the unique biophysical properties of Kv3-type potassium channels, fast activation and fast deactivation that enable cerebellar neurons to generate brief action potentials at high frequencies, affect firing patterns and influence cerebellum-mediated behavior.