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J Neurosci. 2008 Dec 17;28(51):13716-26. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2940-08.2008.

Region-specific spike-frequency acceleration in layer 5 pyramidal neurons mediated by Kv1 subunits.

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Biology Department, Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts 02453, USA.


Separation of the cortical sheet into functionally distinct regions is a hallmark of neocortical organization. Cortical circuit function emerges from afferent and efferent connectivity, local connectivity within the cortical microcircuit, and the intrinsic membrane properties of neurons that comprise the circuit. While localization of functions to particular cortical areas can be partially accounted for by regional differences in both long range and local connectivity, it is unknown whether the intrinsic membrane properties of cortical cell types differ between cortical regions. Here we report the first example of a region-specific firing type in layer 5 pyramidal neurons, and show that the intrinsic membrane and integrative properties of a discrete subtype of layer 5 pyramidal neurons differ between primary motor and somatosensory cortices due to region- and cell-type-specific Kv1 subunit expression.

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