Send to

Choose Destination
Nat Neurosci. 2000 Jul;3(7):670-8.

Calcium channel gating and modulation by transmitters depend on cellular compartmentalization.

Author information

Wellcome Laboratory for Molecular Pharmacology, Department of Pharmacology, University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT UK.


Voltage-gated Ca2+ channels participate in dendritic integration, yet functional properties of Ca2+ channels and mechanisms of their modulation by neurotransmitters in dendrites are unknown. Here we report how pharmacologically identified Ca2+ channels behave in different neural compartments. Whole-cell and cell-attached patch-clamp recordings were made on both cell bodies and electrically isolated dendrites of sympathetic neurons. We found not only that Ca2+ channel populations differentially contribute to somatic and dendritic currents but also that families of Ca2+ channels display gating properties and neurotransmitter modulation that depend on channel compartmentalization. By comparison with their somatic counterparts, dendritic N-type Ca2+ currents were hypersensitive to neurotransmitters and G proteins. Single-channel analysis showed that dendrites express a unique N-type channel that has enhanced interaction with Gbetagamma. Thus Ca2+ channels in dendrites seem to be specialized elements with unique regulatory mechanisms.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group
Loading ...
Support Center