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Neuroscience. 2011 Mar 10;176:173-87. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2010.11.051. Epub 2010 Dec 1.

KChIP1 modulation of Kv4.3-mediated A-type K(+) currents and repetitive firing in hippocampal interneurons.

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  • 1Département de Physiologie, Groupe de Recherche sur le Système Nerveux Central, Université de Montréal, C.P. 6128, Succursale Centre-Ville, Montréal, Québec H3C 3J7, Canada.


Neuronal A-type K(+) channels regulate action potential waveform, back-propagation and firing frequency. In hippocampal CA1 interneurons located at the stratum lacunosum-moleculare/radiatum junction (LM/RAD), Kv4.3 mediates A-type K(+) currents and a Kv4 β-subunit of the Kv channel interacting protein (KChIP) family, KChIP1, appears specifically expressed in these cells. However, the functional role of this accessory subunit in A-type K(+) currents and interneuron excitability remains largely unknown. Thus, first we studied KChIP1 and Kv4.3 channel interactions in human embryonic kidney 293 (HEK293) cells and determined that KChIP1 coexpression modulated the biophysical properties of Kv4.3 A-type currents (faster recovery from inactivation, leftward shift of activation curve, faster rise time and slower decay) and this modulation was selectively prevented by KChIP1 short interfering RNA (siRNA) knockdown. Next, we evaluated the effects of KChIP1 down-regulation by siRNA on A-type K(+) currents in LM/RAD interneurons in slice cultures. Recovery from inactivation of A-type K(+) currents was slower after KChIP1 down-regulation but other properties were unchanged. In addition, down-regulation of KChIP1 levels did not affect action potential waveform and firing, but increased firing frequency during suprathreshold depolarizations, indicating that KChIP1 regulates interneuron excitability. The effects of KChIP1 down-regulation were cell-specific since CA1 pyramidal cells that do not express KChIP1 were unaffected. Overall, our findings suggest that KChIP1 interacts with Kv4.3 in LM/RAD interneurons, enabling faster recovery from inactivation of A-type currents and thus promoting stronger inhibitory control of firing during sustained activity.

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