In CA1 pyramidal neurons, burst firing is correlated with hippocampally dependent behaviours and modulation of synaptic strength. One of the mechanisms underlying burst firing in these cells is the afterdepolarization (ADP) that follows each action potential. Previous work has shown that the ADP results from the interaction of several depolarizing and hyperpolarizing conductances located in the soma and the dendrites. By using patch-clamp recordings from acute rat hippocampal slices we show that D-type potassium current modulates the size of the ADP and the bursting of CA1 pyramidal neurons. Sensitivity to α-dendrotoxin suggests that Kv1-containing potassium channels mediate this current. Dual somato-dendritic recording, outside-out dendritic recordings, and focal application of dendrotoxin together indicate that the channels mediating this current are located in the apical dendrites. Thus, our data present evidence for a dendritic segregation of Kv1-like channels in CA1 pyramidal neurons and identify a novel action for these channels, showing that they inhibit action potential bursting by restricting the size of the ADP.
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