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Kv4 (A-type) potassium currents in the mouse medial nucleus of the trapezoid body


Professor Ian D. Forsythe, as above.


Principal neurones of the mouse medial nucleus of the trapezoid body (MNTB) possess multiple voltage-gated potassium currents, including a transient outward current (or A-current), which is characterized here. The A-current exhibited rapid voltage-dependent inactivation and was half inactivated at resting membrane potentials. Following a hyperpolarizing pre-pulse to remove inactivation, the peak transient current was 1.07 nA at −17 mV. The pharmacological characteristics of this A-current were consistent with Kv4 subunits in expression studies; the A-current was resistant to block by tetraethylammonium and dendrotoxin-I but sensitive to millimolar concentrations of 4-aminopyridine and 5 µm hanatoxin. Immunohistochemistry confirmed that Kv4.3 sub-units are present in the MNTB. In a single-compartment model of an MNTB neurone, the A-current served to accelerate the decay of the initial action potentials in a stimulus train and suggested that removal of A-current steady-state inactivation could raise firing threshold for non-calyceal synaptic inputs. This A-type current was not observed in the rat.

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