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J Physiol. 2010 Apr 15;588(Pt 8):1281-92. doi: 10.1113/jphysiol.2009.185645. Epub 2010 Mar 1.

Functional interplay between NMDA receptors, SK channels and voltage-gated Ca2+ channels regulates synaptic excitability in the medial prefrontal cortex.

Author information

1
Queensland Brain Institute, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD 4072, Australia. l.faber@uq.edu.au

Abstract

Synaptic activity in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) is fundamental for higher cognitive functions such as working memory. The present study shows that small conductance (SK) calcium-activated potassium channels attenuate excitatory synaptic transmission at layer 2/3 and layer 5 inputs to layer 5 pyramidal neurons in the mPFC. SK channels are located postsynaptically at synapses where they are activated during synaptic transmission by calcium influx through NMDA receptors, L-type calcium channels, R-type calcium channels and by calcium release from IP(3)-sensitive stores. Removal of the SK channel-mediated shunt of synaptic transmission reveals significant NMDA receptor-mediated activation during basal synaptic transmission, which is greater at layer 5 inputs (approximately 30%) than at layer 2/3 inputs (approximately 20%). These findings show that interactions between NMDA receptors, SK channels and voltage-gated calcium channels play a critical role in regulating excitatory synaptic transmission in layer 5 pyramidal neurons in the mPFC.

PMID:
20194128
PMCID:
PMC2872733
DOI:
10.1113/jphysiol.2009.185645
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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