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Hippocampus

Ca(2+)-dependent K(+) currents and spike-frequency adaptation in medial entorhinal cortex layer II stellate cells.


PMID 17880008

Abstract

The entorhinal cortex (EC), located in the medial temporal lobe (MTL) of the brain, plays an important functional role in the MTL memory circuit. Medial EC (MEC) Layer II stellate cells (SCs) serve as one of the most prominent target cell types within the EC for inputs arising from higher cortical areas, and these same cells provide most of the output from the EC to the hippocampal region. We used the whole-cell patch clamp technique in a rat in vitro slice preparation to test whether SCs express afterhyperpolarization (AHP) currents and if these currents can be modulated. Our results revealed that SCs contain medium (mI(K(Ca))) and slow (sI(AHP)) Ca(2+)-dependent K(+) currents. Furthermore, we determined that an apamin-sensitive current does not underlie the mAHP in SCs. Our studies also showed that a cAMP-dependent modulation process significantly reduces mI(K(Ca)), sI(AHP), and spike-frequency adaptation in MEC Layer II SCs. Modulation of the firing pattern of SCs resulting from this effect may play an important role in the encoding of information related to memory processes.

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