Journal of neurophysiology

Cell-type specific modulation of intrinsic firing properties and subthreshold membrane oscillations by the M(Kv7)-current in neurons of the entorhinal cortex.

PMID 17728392


The M-current (current through Kv7 channels) is a low-threshold noninactivating potassium current that is suppressed by muscarinic agonists. Recent studies have shown its role in spike burst generation and intrinsic subthreshold theta resonance, both of which are important for memory function. However, little is known about its role in principal cells of the entorhinal cortex (EC). In this study, using whole cell patch recording techniques in a rat EC slice preparation, we have examined the effects of the M-current blockers linopirdine and XE991 on the membrane dynamics of principal cells in the EC. When the M-current was blocked, layer II nonstellate cells (non-SCs) and layer III cells switched from tonic discharge to intermittent firing mode, during which layer II non-SCs showed high-frequency short-duration spike bursts due to increased fast spike afterdepolarization (ADP). When three spikes were elicited at 50 Hz, these two types of cells reacted with a slow ADP that drove delayed firing. In contrast, layer II stellate cells (SCs) and layer V cells never displayed intermittent firing, bursting behavior, or delayed firing. Under the M-current block, intrinsic excitability increased significantly in layer III and layer V cells but not in layer II SCs and non-SCs. The M-current block also had contrasting effects on the subthreshold excitability, greatly suppressing the subthreshold membrane potential oscillations in layer V cells but not in layer II SCs. Modulation of the M-current thus shifts the firing behavior, intrinsic excitability, and subthreshold membrane potential oscillations of EC principal cells in a cell-type-dependent manner.

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Linopirdine, ≥98% (HPLC)