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Localization and function of the Kv3.1b subunit in the rat medulla oblongata: focus on the nucleus tractus solitarii

Dallas, M. L., Atkinson, L., Milligan, C. J., Morris, N. P., Lewis, D. I., Deuchars, S. A. and Deuchars, J. (2005) Localization and function of the Kv3.1b subunit in the rat medulla oblongata: focus on the nucleus tractus solitarii. Journal of Physiology, 562 (Pt 3). pp. 655-72. ISSN 0022-3751

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Abstract/Summary

The voltage-gated potassium channel subunit Kv3.1 confers fast firing characteristics to neurones. Kv3.1b subunit immunoreactivity (Kv3.1b-IR) was widespread throughout the medulla oblongata, with labelled neurones in the gracile, cuneate and spinal trigeminal nuclei. In the nucleus of the solitary tract (NTS), Kv3.1b-IR neurones were predominantly located close to the tractus solitarius (TS) and could be GABAergic or glutamatergic. Ultrastructurally, Kv3.1b-IR was detected in NTS terminals, some of which were vagal afferents. Whole-cell current-clamp recordings from neurones near the TS revealed electrophysiological characteristics consistent with the presence of Kv3.1b subunits: short duration action potentials (4.2 +/- 1.4 ms) and high firing frequencies (68.9 +/- 5.3 Hz), both sensitive to application of TEA (0.5 mm) and 4-aminopyridine (4-AP; 30 mum). Intracellular dialysis of an anti-Kv3.1b antibody mimicked and occluded the effects of TEA and 4-AP in NTS and dorsal column nuclei neurones, but not in dorsal vagal nucleus or cerebellar Purkinje cells (which express other Kv3 subunits, but not Kv3.1b). Voltage-clamp recordings from outside-out patches from NTS neurones revealed an outward K(+) current with the basic characteristics of that carried by Kv3 channels. In NTS neurones, electrical stimulation of the TS evoked EPSPs and IPSPs, and TEA and 4-AP increased the average amplitude and decreased the paired pulse ratio, consistent with a presynaptic site of action. Synaptic inputs evoked by stimulation of a region lacking Kv3.1b-IR neurones were not affected, correlating the presence of Kv3.1b in the TS with the pharmacological effects.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy > School of Pharmacy
No Reading authors. Back catalogue items
ID Code:30362
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell

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