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Delayed rectifier currents in rat globus pallidus neurons are attributable to Kv2.1 and Kv3.1/3.2 K(+) channels.

G Baranauskas, T Tkatch, D J Surmeier

J. Neurosci., 1999 Aug 1 , 19, 6394-404

The symptoms of Parkinson disease are thought to result in part from increased burst activity in globus pallidus neurons. To gain a better understanding of the factors governing this activity, we studied delayed rectifier K(+) conductances in acutely isolated rat globus pallidus (GP) neurons, using whole-cell voltage-clamp and single-cell RT-PCR techniques. From a holding potential of -40 mV, depolarizing voltage steps in identified GP neurons evoked slowly inactivating K(+) currents. Analysis of the tail currents revealed rapidly and slowly deactivating currents of similar amplitude. The fast component of the current deactivated with a time constant of 11. 1 +/- 0.8 msec at -40 mV and was blocked by micromolar concentrations of 4-AP and TEA (K(D) approximately 140 microM). The slow component of the current deactivated with a time constant of 89 +/- 10 microseconds at -40 mV and was less sensitive to TEA (K(D) = 0.8 mM) and 4-AP (K(D) approximately 6 mM). Organic antagonists of Kv1 family channels had little or no effect on somatic currents. These properties are consistent with the hypothesis that the rapidly deactivating current is attributable to Kv3.1/3.2 channels and the slowly deactivating current to Kv2.1-containing channels. Semiquantitative single-cell RT-PCR analysis of Kv3 and Kv2 family mRNAs supported this conclusion. An alteration in the balance of these two channel types could underlie the emergence of burst firing after dopamine-depleting lesions.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10414968