PubMed 20798505

Title: Voltage-dependent potassium channels Kv1.3 and Kv1.5 in human fetus.

Authors: Joanna Bielanska, Javier Hernández-Losa, Teresa Moline, Rosa Somoza, Santiago Ramón Y Cajal, Enric Condom, Joan Carles Ferreres, Antonio Felipe

Journal, date & volume: Cell. Physiol. Biochem., 2010 , 26, 219-26

PubMed link:

Voltage-dependent K(+) channels (Kv) control repolarization and membrane potential in electrically excitable cells. In addition, Kv channels are involved in the maintenance of vascular smooth muscle tone, insulin release, epithelial K(+) transport, cell proliferation and leukocyte activation. Kv1.3 and Kv1.5 are widely distributed throughout the body and are involved in a variety of physiological processes taking place in the immune system, brain and muscle. Since the developmental pattern of Kv channels has an essential role in the maturing human, we aimed to study Kv1.3 and Kv1.5 channels in 8-10 week human fetal tissues. We chose that gestational age because all organs are in place and the nervous system, although not fully developed. However, the human embryo is undergoing major changes, which will lead to a defined adult pattern. Our results indicated that numerous tissues expressed Kv1.3 and Kv1.5. While Kv1.3 overlapped with the central and peripheral nervous systems, Kv1.5 was mostly localized in the central nervous system. In addition, both channels were abundantly expressed in the hematopoietic fetal liver. Finally, Kv1.5 heavily stained skeletal muscle and heart, whereas Kv1.3 was slightly present. This is the first study to analyze Kv1.3 and Kv1.5 in human during the beginning of fetal development.