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Eur J Neurosci. 1999 Dec;11(12):4149-58.

Distinct kinetics of cloned T-type Ca2 + channels lead to differential Ca2 + entry and frequency-dependence during mock action potentials.

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Laboratoire de Neurobiologie Cellulaire; UPR 9009-CNRS, Strasbourg, France.


Voltage-dependent activity around the resting potential is determinant in neuronal physiology and participates in the definition of the firing pattern. Low-voltage-activated T-type Ca2 + channels directly affect the membrane potential and control a number of secondary Ca2 + -dependent permeabilities. We have studied the ability of the cloned T-type channels (alpha1G,H,I) to carry Ca2 + currents in response to mock action potentials. The relationship between the spike duration and the current amplitude is specific for each of the T-type channels, reflecting their individual kinetic properties. Typically the charge transfer increases with spike broadening, but the total Ca2 + entry saturates at different spike durations according to the channel type: 4 ms for alpha1G; 7 ms for alpha1H; and > 10 ms for alpha1I channels. During bursts, currents are inhibited and/or transiently potentiated according to the alpha1 channel type, with larger effects at higher frequency. The inhibition may be induced by voltage-independent transitions toward inactivated states and/or channel inactivation through intermediate closed states. The potentiation is explained by an acceleration in the channel activation kinetics. Relatively fast inactivation and slow recovery limit the ability of alpha1G and alpha1H channels to respond to high frequency stimulation ( > 20 Hz). In contrast, the slow inactivation of alpha1I subunits allows these channels to continue participating in high frequency bursts (100 Hz). The biophysical properties of alpha1G, H and I channels will therefore dramatically modulate the effect of neuronal activities on Ca2 + signalling.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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