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Neuroscience. 2008 Mar 18;152(2):469-76. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2007.12.040. Epub 2008 Jan 9.

Age-related functional changes of high-voltage-activated calcium channels in different neuronal subtypes of mouse striatum.

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Clinica Neurologica, Dipartimento di Neuroscienze, Università di Roma Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy.


By means of whole-cell patch-clamp recordings, we characterized the developmental profile of high-voltage-activated (HVA) calcium (Ca(2+)) channel subtypes in distinct neuronal populations of mouse striatum. Acutely dissociated medium spiny neurons (MSNs) and cholinergic interneurons (ChIs) were recorded from mice at five developmental stages: postnatal-days (PD) 14, 23, 40, 150 and 270. During ageing, total HVA Ca(2+) current recorded from both MSNs and ChIs was unchanged. However, the pharmacological analysis of the differential contribution of HVA Ca(2+) channel subtypes showed a significant rearrangement of each component. In both neuronal subtypes, a large fraction of the total HVA current recorded from PD14 mice was inhibited by the L-type HVA channel blocker nifedipine. This dihydropyridine-sensitive component accounted for nearly 50%, in MSNs, and 35%, in ChIs, of total current at PD14, but its contribution was down-regulated up to 20-25% at 9 months. Likewise, the N-type, omega-conotoxin GVIA-sensitive component decreased from 35% to 40% to about 25% in MSNs and 15% in ChIs. The P-type, omega-agatoxin-sensitive fraction did not show significant changes in both neuronal subtypes, whereas the Q-type, omega-conotoxin MVIIC-sensitive channels did show a significant up-regulation at 9 months. As compared with striatal neurons, we recorded pyramidal neurons dissociated from cortical layers IV-V and found no significant developmental change in the different components of HVA Ca(2+) currents. In conclusion, our data demonstrate a functional reconfiguration of HVA Ca(2+) channels in striatal but not cortical pyramidal neurons during mouse development. Such changes might have profound implications for physiological and pathophysiological processes of the striatum.

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