Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
PLoS One. 2009 Jul 8;4(7):e6168. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0006168.

Characterization of voltage-gated potassium channels in human neural progenitor cells.

Author information

  • 1Department of Neurology, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany.



Voltage-gated potassium (K(v)) channels are among the earliest ion channels to appear during brain development, suggesting a functional requirement for progenitor cell proliferation and/or differentiation. We tested this hypothesis, using human neural progenitor cells (hNPCs) as a model system.


In proliferating hNPCs a broad spectrum of K(v) channel subtypes was identified using quantitative real-time PCR with a predominant expression of the A-type channel K(v)4.2. In whole-cell patch-clamp recordings K(v) currents were separated into a large transient component characteristic for fast-inactivating A-type potassium channels (I(A)) and a small, sustained component produced by delayed-rectifying channels (I(K)). During differentiation the expression of I(A) as well as A-type channel transcripts dramatically decreased, while I(K) producing delayed-rectifiers were upregulated. Both K(v) currents were differentially inhibited by selective neurotoxins like phrixotoxin-1 and alpha-dendrotoxin as well as by antagonists like 4-aminopyridine, ammoniumchloride, tetraethylammonium chloride and quinidine. In viability and proliferation assays chronic inhibition of the A-type currents severely disturbed the cell cycle and precluded proper hNPC proliferation, while the blockade of delayed-rectifiers by alpha-dendrotoxin increased proliferation.


These findings suggest that A-type potassium currents are essential for proper proliferation of immature multipotent hNPCs.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk