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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2006 Jul 21;346(1):281-7. Epub 2006 May 30.

Sodium channel-mediated intrinsic mechanisms underlying the differences of spike programming among GABAergic neurons.

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State Key Lab for Brain and Cognitive Sciences, National Lab for Protein Sciences, The Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China.


Neural codes to guide well-organized behavior are thought to be the programmed patterns of sequential spikes at central neurons, in which the coordinative activities of voltage-gated ion channels are involved. The attention has been paid to study the role of potassium channels in spike pattern; but it is not clear how the intrinsic mechanism mediated by voltage-gated sodium channels (VGSC) influences the programming of sequential spikes, which we investigated at GABAergic cerebellar Purkinje cells and hippocampal interneurons by patch-clamp recording in brain slices. Spike capacity is higher at Purkinje cells than interneurons in response to the given intensities of inputs, and is dependent on input intensity. Compared to interneurons, Purkinje cells express the lower threshold potentials and the shorter refractory periods of sequential spikes. The increases of input intensities shorten spike refractory periods significantly. The threshold potentials for VGSC activation and the refractory periods for its reactivation are lower at Purkinje cells, and are reduced by the strong depolarization. We suggest that the VGSC-mediated threshold potentials and refractory periods are regulated by synaptic inputs, and navigate the programming of sequential spikes at the neurons.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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