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Developmental expression of the small-conductance Ca(2+)-activated potassium channel SK2 in the rat retina.

N Klöcker, D Oliver, J P Ruppersberg, H G Knaus, B Fakler

Mol. Cell. Neurosci., 2001 Mar , 17, 514-20

Small-conductance Ca(2+)-activated potassium (SK) channels are present in most central neurons, where they mediate the afterhyperpolarizations (AHPs) following action potentials. SK channels integrate changes in intracellular Ca(2+) concentration with membrane potential and thus play an important role in controlling firing pattern and excitability. Here, we characterize the expression pattern of the apamin-sensitive SK subunits, SK2 and SK3, in the developing and adult rat retina using in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry. The SK2 subunit showed a distinct and developmentally regulated pattern of expression. It appeared during the first postnatal week and located to retinal ganglion cells and to subpopulations of neurons in the inner nuclear layer. These neurons were identified as horizontal cells and dopaminergic amacrine cells by specific markers. In contrast to SK2, the SK3 subunit was detected neither in the developing nor in the adult retina. These results show cell-specific expression of the SK2 subunit in the retina and suggest that this channel underlies the apamin-sensitive AHP currents described in retinal ganglion cells.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11273646