PubMed 18319624

Referenced in Channelpedia wiki pages of: none

Automatically associated channels: Kir2.1

Title: Expression of Kir2.1 channels in astrocytes under pathophysiological conditions.

Authors: Shin Jung Kang, Sang-Hee Cho, Kyungjoon Park, Jihyun Yi, Soon Ji Yoo, Ki Soon Shin

Journal, date & volume: Mol. Cells, 2008 Feb 29 , 25, 124-30

PubMed link:

Astrocyte ion channels participate in ionic homeostasis in the brain. Inward rectifying potassium channels (Kir channels) in astrocytes have been particularly implicated in K(+) homeostasis because of their high open probability at resting potential and their increased conductance at high concentrations of extracellular K(+). We examined the expression of the Kir2.1 subunit, one of the Kir channel subunits, in the mouse brain by immunohistochemistry. Kir2.1 channels were widely distributed throughout the brain, with high expression in the olfactory bulb and the cerebellum. Interestingly, they were abundantly expressed in astrocytes of the olfactory bulb, while astrocytes in other brain regions including the hippocampus did not show any detectable expression. However, Kir2.1 channel-expressing cells were dramatically increased in the hippocampus by kainic acid-induced seizure and the cells were glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP)-positive, which confirms that astrocytes in the hippocampus express Kir2.1 channels under pathological conditions. Our results imply that Kir2.1 channels in astrocyte may be involved in buffering K(+) against accumulated extracellular K(+) caused by neuronal hyperexcitability under phathophysiological conditions.