The rapidly activating and inactivating voltage-gated K+ (Kv) current, IA, is broadly expressed in neurons and is akey regulator of action potential repolarization, repetitive firing, backpropagation (into dendrites) of action potentials, and responses to synaptic inputs. Interestingly, results from previous studies on a number of neuronal cell types, including hippocampal, cortical, and spinal neurons, suggest that macroscopic IA is composed of multiple components and that each component is likely encoded by distinct Kv channel α-subunits. The goals of the experiments presented here were to test this hypothesis and to determine the molecular identities of the Kv channel α-subunits that generate I A in cortical pyramidal neurons. Combining genetic disruption of individual Kv α-subunit genes with pharmacological approaches to block Kv currents selectively, the experiments here revealed that Kv1.4, Kv4.2, and Kv4.3 α-subunits encode distinct components of IA that together underlie the macroscopic IA in mouse (male and female) cortical pyramidal neurons. Recordings from neurons lacking both Kv4.2 and Kv4.3 (Kv4.2-/-/Kv4.3-/-) revealed that, although Kv1.4 encodes a minor component of IA, the Kv1.4-encoded current was found in all the Kv4.2-/-/Kv4.3-/- cortical pyramidal neurons examined. Of the cortical pyramidal neurons lacking both Kv4.2 and Kv1.4,90% expressed a Kv4.3-encoded IA larger in amplitude than the Kv1.4-encoded component. The experimental findings also demonstrate that the targeted deletion of the individual Kv α-subunits encoding components of IA results in electrical remodeling that is Kv α-subunit specific.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5092-5101
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number14
StatePublished - Apr 7 2010


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