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J Neurophysiol. 2006 Jun;95(6):3665-73. Epub 2006 Mar 22.

Developmental regulation of whole cell capacitance and membrane current in identified interneurons in C. elegans.

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Institute of Neuroscience, University of Oregon, Eugene, USA.


Postembryonic developmental changes in electrophysiological properties of the AIY interneuron class were investigated using whole cell voltage clamp. AIY interneurons displayed an increase in cell capacitance during larval development, whereas steady-state current amplitude did not increase. The time course of the outward membrane current, carried at least in part by K+ ions, matured, from a slowly activating, sustained current to a rapidly activating, decaying current. We also investigated how the development of capacitance and outward current was altered by loss-of-function mutations in genes expressed in AIY. One such gene, the LIM homeobox gene ttx-3, is known to be involved in the specification of the AIY neuronal subtype. In ttx-3 mutants, capacitance and outward current matured precociously. In mutants of the gene wrk-1, an immunoglobulin superfamily (IgSF) member whose expression is regulated by ttx-3, capacitance matured normally, whereas outward current matured precociously. We conclude that AIY interneurons contain distinct pathways for regulating capacitance and membrane current.

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