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PLoS One. 2008 Feb 13;3(2):e1604. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0001604.

Delayed rectifier and A-type potassium channels associated with Kv 2.1 and Kv 4.3 expression in embryonic rat neural progenitor cells.

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Stem Cell Research Laboratory, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Manoa, Hawaii, USA.



Because of the importance of voltage-activated K(+) channels during embryonic development and in cell proliferation, we present here the first description of these channels in E15 rat embryonic neural progenitor cells derived from the subventricular zone (SVZ). Activation, inactivation, and single-channel conductance properties of recorded progenitor cells were compared with those obtained by others when these Kv gene products were expressed in oocytes.


Neural progenitor cells derived from the subventricular zone of E15 embryonic rats were cultured under conditions that did not promote differentiation. Immunocytochemical and Western blot assays for nestin expression indicated that almost all of the cells available for recording expressed this intermediate filament protein, which is generally accepted as a marker for uncommitted embryonic neural progenitor cells. However, a very small numbers of the cells expressed GFAP, a marker for astrocytes, O4, a marker for immature oligodendrocytes, and betaIII-tubulin, a marker for neurons. Using immunocytochemistry and Western blots, we detected consistently the expression of Kv2.1, and 4.3. In whole-cell mode, we recorded two outward currents, a delayed rectifier and an A-type current.


We conclude that Kv2.1, and 4.3 are expressed in E15 SVZ neural progenitor cells, and we propose that they may be associated with the delayed-rectifier and the A-type currents, respectively, that we recorded. These results demonstrate the early expression of delayed rectifier and A-type K(+) currents and channels in embryonic neural progenitor cells prior to the differentiation of these cells.

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