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Keywords:

  • A-type potassium channel;
  • Kv 4.2;
  • sharp waves;
  • dendritic spikes

Abstract

Highly synchronized neural firing has been discussed in relation to learning and memory, for instance sharp-wave activity in hippocampus. We were interested to study how a postsynaptic CA1 pyramidal neuron would integrate input of different levels of synchronicity. In previous work using computational modeling we studied how the integration depends on dendritic conductances. We found that the transient A-type potassium channel KA was able to selectively suppress input of high synchronicity. In recent years, compartmentalization of dendritic integration has been shown. We were therefore interested to study the influence of localization and pattern of synaptic input over the dendritic tree of the CA1 pyramidal neuron. We find that the selective suppression increases when synaptic inputs are placed on oblique dendrites further out from the soma. The suppression also increases along the radial axis from the apical trunk out to the end of oblique dendrites. We also find that the KA channel suppresses the occurrence of dendritic spikes. Moreover, recent studies have shown interaction between synaptic inputs. We therefore studied the influence of apical tuft input on the integration studied above. We find that excitatory input provides a modulatory influence reducing the capacity of KA to suppress synchronized activity, thus facilitating the excitatory drive of oblique dendritic input. Conversely, inhibitory tuft input increases the suppression by KA providing a larger control of oblique depolarizing factors on the CA1 pyramidal neuron in terms of what constitutes the most effective level of synchronicity. Furthermore, we show that the selective suppression studied above depends on the conductance of the KA channel. KA, as several other potassium channels, is modulated by several neuromodulators, for instance acetylcholine and dopamine, both of which have been discussed in relation to learning and memory. We suggest that dendritic conductances and their modulatory systems may be part of the regulation of processing of information, in particular for how network synchronicity affects learning and memory. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.