PubMed 20732392

Referenced in Channelpedia wiki pages of: none

Automatically associated channels: BK

Title: Impaired hippocampal Ca2+ homeostasis and concomitant K+ channel dysfunction in a mouse model of Rett syndrome during anoxia.

Authors: M Kron, M Müller

Journal, date & volume: Neuroscience, 2010 Nov 24 , 171, 300-15

PubMed link:

Methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MeCP2) deficiency causes Rett syndrome (RTT), a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by severe cognitive impairment, synaptic dysfunction, and hyperexcitability. Previously we reported that the hippocampus of MeCP2-deficient mice (Mecp2(-/y)), a mouse model for RTT, is more susceptible to hypoxia. To identify the underlying mechanisms we now focused on the anoxic responses of wildtype (WT) and Mecp2(-/y) CA1 neurons in acute hippocampal slices. Intracellular recordings revealed that Mecp2(-/y) neurons show only reduced or no hyperpolarizations early during cyanide-induced anoxia, suggesting potassium channel (K(+) channel) dysfunction. Blocking adenosine-5'-triphosphate-sensitive K(+) channels (K(ATP-)) and big-conductance Ca(2+)-activated K(+) channels (BK-channels) did not affect the early anoxic hyperpolarization in either genotype. However, blocking Ca(2+) release from the endoplasmic reticulum almost abolished the anoxic hyperpolarizations in Mecp2(-/y) neurons. Single-channel recordings confirmed that neither K(ATP)- nor BK-channels are the sole mediators of the early anoxic hyperpolarization. Instead, anoxia Ca(2+)-dependently activated various small/intermediate-conductance K(+) channels in WT neurons, which was less evident in Mecp2(-/y) neurons. Yet, pharmacologically increasing the Ca(2+) sensitivity of small/intermediate-conductance K(Ca) channels fully restored the anoxic hyperpolarization in Mecp2(-/y) neurons. Furthermore, Ca(2+) imaging unveiled lower intracellular Ca(2+) levels in resting Mecp2(-/y) neurons and reduced anoxic Ca(2+) transients with diminished Ca(2+) release from intracellular stores. In conclusion, the enhanced hypoxia susceptibility of Mecp2(-/y) hippocampus is primarily associated with disturbed Ca(2+) homeostasis and diminished Ca(2+) rises during anoxia. This secondarily attenuates the activation of K(Ca) channels and thereby increases the hypoxia susceptibility of Mecp2(-/y) neuronal networks. Since cytosolic Ca(2+) levels also determine neuronal excitability and synaptic plasticity, Ca(2+) homeostasis may constitute a promising target for pharmacotherapy in RTT.