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Neuron. 2000 Feb;25(2):399-410.

TASK-1, a two-pore domain K+ channel, is modulated by multiple neurotransmitters in motoneurons.

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Department of Pharmacology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville 22908, USA.


Inhibition of "leak" potassium (K+) channels is a widespread CNS mechanism by which transmitters induce slow excitation. We show that TASK-1, a two pore domain K+ channel, provides a prominent leak K+ current and target for neurotransmitter modulation in hypoglossal motoneurons (HMs). TASK-1 mRNA is present at high levels in motoneurons, including HMs, which express a K+ current with pH- and voltage-dependent properties virtually identical to those of the cloned channel. This pH-sensitive K+ channel was fully inhibited by serotonin, norepinephrine, substance P, thyrotropin-releasing hormone, and 3,5-dihydroxyphenylglycine, a group I metabotropic glutamate receptor agonist. The neurotransmitter effect was entirely reconstituted in HEK 293 cells coexpressing TASK-1 and the TRH-R1 receptor. Given its expression patterns and the widespread prevalence of this neuromodulatory mechanism, TASK-1 also likely supports this action in other CNS neurons.

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