Korean J Physiol Pharmacol.  2012 Oct;16(5):343-348. 10.4196/kjpp.2012.16.5.343.

Sustained K+ Outward Currents are Sensitive to Intracellular Heteropodatoxin2 in CA1 Neurons of Organotypic Cultured Hippocampi of Rats

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Physiology, School of Medicine, Jeju National University, Jeju 690-756, Korea. jungsc@jejunu.ac.kr

Abstract

Blocking or regulating K+ channels is important for investigating neuronal functions in mammalian brains, because voltage-dependent K+ channels (Kv channels) play roles to regulate membrane excitabilities for synaptic and somatic processings in neurons. Although a number of toxins and chemicals are useful to change gating properties of Kv channels, specific effects of each toxin on a particular Kv subunit have not been sufficiently demonstrated in neurons yet. In this study, we tested electrophysiologically if heteropodatoxin2 (HpTX2), known as one of Kv4-specific toxins, might be effective on various K+ outward currents in CA1 neurons of organotypic hippocampal slices of rats. Using a nucleated-patch technique and a pre-pulse protocol in voltage-clamp mode, total K+ outward currents recorded in the soma of CA1 neurons were separated into two components, transient and sustained currents. The extracellular application of HpTX2 weakly but significantly reduced transient currents. However, when HpTX2 was added to internal solution, the significant reduction of amplitudes were observed in sustained currents but not in transient currents. This indicates the non-specificity of HpTX2 effects on Kv4 family. Compared with the effect of cytosolic 4-AP to block transient currents, it is possible that cytosolic HpTX2 is pharmacologically specific to sustained currents in CA1 neurons. These results suggest that distinctive actions of HpTX2 inside and outside of neurons are very efficient to selectively reduce specific K+ outward currents.

Keyword

CA1; Heteropodatoxin2; Sustained K+ current; Transient K+ current; Voltage-dependent K+ channel
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