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Age-dependent axonal expression of potassium channel proteins during development in mouse hippocampus.

Harald Prüss, Gisela Grosse, Irene Brunk, Rudiger W Veh, Gudrun Ahnert-Hilger

, 2009 Dec 12 , ,

The development of the hippocampal network requires neuronal activity, which is shaped by the differential expression and sorting of a variety of potassium channels. Parallel to their maturation, hippocampal neurons undergo a distinct development of their ion channel profile. The age-dependent dimension of ion channel occurrence is of utmost importance as it is interdependently linked to network formation. However, data regarding the exact temporal expression of potassium channels during postnatal hippocampal development are scarce. We therefore studied the expression of several voltage-gated potassium channel proteins during hippocampal development in vivo and in primary cultures, focusing on channels that were sorted to the axonal compartment. The Kv1.1, Kv1.2, Kv1.4, and Kv3.4 proteins showed a considerable temporal variation of axonal localization among neuronal subpopulations. It is possible, therefore, that hippocampal neurons possess cell type-specific mechanisms for channel compartmentalization. Thus, age-dependent axonal sorting of the potassium channel proteins offers a new approach to functionally distinguish classes of hippocampal neurons and may extend our understanding of hippocampal circuitry and memory processing.