PubMed 17728462

Referenced in Channelpedia wiki pages of: none

Automatically associated channels: SK2

Title: SK channels provide a novel mechanism for the control of frequency tuning in electrosensory neurons.

Authors: Lee D Ellis, W Hamish Mehaffey, Erik Harvey-Girard, Ray W Turner, Leonard Maler, Robert J Dunn

Journal, date & volume: J. Neurosci., 2007 Aug 29 , 27, 9491-502

PubMed link:

One important characteristic of sensory input is frequency, with sensory neurons often tuned to narrow stimulus frequency ranges. Although vital for many neural computations, the cellular basis of such frequency tuning remains mostly unknown. In the electrosensory system of Apteronotus leptorhynchus, the primary processing of important environmental and communication signals occurs in pyramidal neurons of the electrosensory lateral line lobe. Spike trains transmitted by these cells can encode low-frequency prey stimuli with bursts of spikes and high-frequency communication signals with single spikes. Here, we demonstrate that the selective expression of SK2 channels in a subset of pyramidal neurons reduces their response to low-frequency stimuli by opposing their burst responses. Apamin block of the SK2 current in this subset of cells induced bursting and increased their response to low-frequency inputs. SK channel expression thus provides an intrinsic mechanism that predisposes a neuron to respond to higher frequencies and thus specific, behaviorally relevant stimuli.