Doctor of Philosophy, Northwestern University (2012)
Bachelor of Science, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (2003)
Purkinje cells have specialized intrinsic ionic conductances that generate high-frequency action potentials. Disruptions of their Ca or Ca-activated K (KCa) currents correlate with altered firing patterns in vitro and impaired motor behavior in vivo. To examine the properties of somatic KCa currents, we recorded voltage-clamped KCa currents in Purkinje cell bodies isolated from postnatal day 17-21 mouse cerebellum. Currents were evoked by endogenous Ca influx with approximately physiological Ca buffering. Purkinje somata expressed voltage-activated, Cd-sensitive KCa currents with iberiotoxin (IBTX)-sensitive (>100 nS) and IBTX-insensitive (>75 nS) components. IBTX-sensitive currents activated and partially inactivated within milliseconds. Rapid, incomplete macroscopic inactivation was also evident during 50- or 100-Hz trains of 1-ms depolarizations. In contrast, IBTX-insensitive currents activated more slowly and did not inactivate. These currents were insensitive to the small- and intermediate-conductance KCa channel blockers apamin, scyllatoxin, UCL1684, bicuculline methiodide, and TRAM-34, but were largely blocked by 1 mM tetraethylammonium. The underlying channels had single-channel conductances of ∼150 pS, suggesting that the currents are carried by IBTX-resistant (β4-containing) large-conductance KCa (BK) channels. IBTX-insensitive currents were nevertheless increased by small-conductance KCa channel agonists EBIO, chlorzoxazone, and CyPPA. During trains of brief depolarizations, IBTX-insensitive currents flowed during interstep intervals, and the accumulation of interstep outward current was enhanced by EBIO. In current clamp, EBIO slowed spiking, especially during depolarizing current injections. The two components of BK current in Purkinje somata likely contribute differently to spike repolarization and firing rate. Moreover, augmentation of BK current may partially underlie the action of EBIO and chlorzoxazone to alleviate disrupted Purkinje cell firing associated with genetic ataxias.
View details for DOI 10.1152/jn.00127.2012
View details for Web of Science ID 000319121400010
View details for PubMedID 23446695
Na channels that generate resurgent current express an intracellular endogenous open-channel blocking protein, whose rapid binding upon depolarization and unbinding upon repolarization minimizes fast and slow inactivation. Na channels also bind exogenous compounds, such as lidocaine, which functionally stabilize inactivation. Like the endogenous blocking protein, these use-dependent inhibitors bind most effectively at depolarized potentials, raising the question of how lidocaine-like compounds affect neurons with resurgent Na current. We therefore recorded lidocaine inhibition of voltage-clamped, tetrodotoxin-sensitive Na currents in mouse Purkinje neurons, which express a native blocking protein, and in mouse hippocampal CA3 pyramidal neurons with and without a peptide from the cytoplasmic tail of NaVβ4 (the β4 peptide), which mimics endogenous open-channel block. To control channel states during drug exposure, lidocaine was applied with rapid-solution exchange techniques during steps to specific voltages. Inhibition of Na currents by lidocaine was diminished by either the β4 peptide or the native blocking protein. In peptide-free CA3 cells, prolonging channel opening with a site-3 toxin, anemone toxin II, reduced lidocaine inhibition; this effect was largely occluded by open-channel blockers, suggesting that lidocaine binding is favored by inactivation but prevented by open-channel block. In constant 100 μm lidocaine, current-clamped Purkinje cells continued to fire spontaneously. Similarly, the β4 peptide reduced lidocaine-dependent suppression of spiking in CA3 neurons in slices. Thus, the open-channel blocking protein responsible for resurgent current acts as a natural antagonist of lidocaine. Neurons with resurgent current may therefore be less susceptible to use-dependent Na channel inhibitors used as local anesthetic, antiarrhythmic, and anticonvulsant drugs.
View details for DOI 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3026-12.2013
View details for Web of Science ID 000316119200032
View details for PubMedID 23486968
Voltage-gated Na channels in several classes of neurons, including cells of the cerebellum, are subject to an open-channel block and unblock by an endogenous protein. The Na(V)beta4 (Scn4b) subunit is a candidate blocking protein because a free peptide from its cytoplasmic tail, the beta4 peptide, can block open Na channels and induce resurgent current as channels unblock upon repolarization. In heterologous expression systems, however, Na(V)beta4 fails to produce resurgent current. We therefore tested the necessity of this subunit in generating resurgent current, as well as its influence on Na channel gating and action potential firing, by studying cultured cerebellar granule neurons treated with siRNA targeted against Scn4b. Knockdown of Scn4b, confirmed with quantitative RT-PCR, led to five electrophysiological phenotypes: a loss of resurgent current, a reduction of persistent current, a hyperpolarized half-inactivation voltage of transient current, a higher rheobase, and a decrease in repetitive firing. All disruptions of Na currents and firing were rescued by the beta4 peptide. The simplest interpretation is that Na(V)beta4 itself blocks Na channels of granule cells, making this subunit the first blocking protein that is responsible for resurgent current. The results also demonstrate that a known open-channel blocking peptide not only permits a rapid recovery from nonconducting states upon repolarization from positive voltages but also increases Na channel availability at negative potentials by antagonizing fast inactivation. Thus, Na(V)beta4 expression determines multiple aspects of Na channel gating, thereby regulating excitability in cultured cerebellar granule cells.
View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.1005633107
View details for Web of Science ID 000279572100057
View details for PubMedID 20566860