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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2002 Jul 23;99(15):10144-9. Epub 2002 Jul 11.

A postsynaptic transient K(+) current modulated by arachidonic acid regulates synaptic integration and threshold for LTP induction in hippocampal pyramidal cells.

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Institute of Physiology, University of Oslo, 0317 Oslo, Norway.


Voltage-gated ion channels in the dendrites and somata of central neurons can modulate the impact of synaptic inputs. One of the ionic currents contributing to such modulation is the fast inactivating A-type potassium current (I(A)). We have investigated the role of I(A) in synaptic integration in rat CA1 pyramidal cells by using arachidonic acid (AA) and heteropodatoxin-3 (HpTX3), a selective blocker of the Kv4 channels underlying much of the somatodendritic I(A). AA and HpTX3 each reduced I(A) by 60-70% (measured at the soma) and strongly enhanced the amplitude and summation of excitatory postsynaptic responses, thus facilitating action potential discharges. HpTX3 also reduced the threshold for induction of long-term potentiation. We conclude that the postsynaptic I(A) is activated during synaptic depolarizations and effectively regulates the somatodendritic integration of high-frequency trains of synaptic input. AA, which can be released by such input, enhances synaptic efficacy by suppressing I(A), which could play an important role in frequency-dependent synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus.

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