Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1999 Jul 6;96(14):7650-7.

Calcium regulation of a slow post-spike hyperpolarization in vagal afferent neurons.

Author information

Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, University of Maryland, School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21201-1559, USA.


Activation of distinct classes of potassium channels can dramatically affect the frequency and the pattern of neuronal firing. In a subpopulation of vagal afferent neurons (nodose ganglion neurons), the pattern of impulse activity is effectively modulated by a Ca2+-dependent K+ current. This current produces a post-spike hyperpolarization (AHPslow) that plays a critical role in the regulation of membrane excitability and is responsible for spike-frequency accommodation in these neurons. Inhibition of the AHPslow by a number of endogenous autacoids (e.g., histamine, serotonin, prostanoids, and bradykinin) results in an increase in the firing frequency of vagal afferent neurons from <0.1 to >10 Hz. After a single action potential, the AHPslow in nodose neurons displays a slow rise time to peak (0.3-0.5 s) and a long duration (3-15 s). The slow kinetics of the AHPslow are due, in part, to Ca2+ discharge from an intracellular Ca2+-induced Ca2+ release (CICR) pool. Action potential-evoked Ca2+ influx via either L or N type Ca2+ channels triggers CICR. Surprisingly, although L type channels generate 60% of action potential-induced CICR, only Ca2+ influx through N type Ca2+ channels can trigger the CICR-dependent AHPslow. These observations suggest that a close physical proximity exists between endoplasmic reticulum ryanodine receptors and plasma membrane N type Ca2+ channels and AHPslow potassium channels. Such an anatomical relation might be particularly beneficial for modulation of spike-frequency adaptation in vagal afferent neurons.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center