Kv4.2 mRNA abundance and A-type K+ current amplitude are linearly related in basal ganglia and basal forebrain neurons

Tatiana Tkatch, Gytis Baranauskas, D. James Surmeier*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

146 Scopus citations


A-type K+ currents are key determinants of repetitive activity and synaptic integration. Although several gene families have been shown to code for A-type channel subunits, recent studies have suggested that Kv4 family channels are the principal contributors to A-type channels in the somatodendritic membrane of mammalian brain neurons. If this hypothesis is correct, there should be a strong correlation between Kv4 family mRNA and A- type channel protein or aggregate channel currents. To test this hypothesis, quantitative single-cell reverse transcription-PCR analysis of Kv4 family mRNA was combined with voltage-clamp analysis of A-type K+ currents in acutely isolated neurons. These studies revealed that Kv4.2 mRNA abundance was linearly related to A-type K+ current amplitude in neostriatal medium spiny neurons and cholinergic interneurons, in globus pallidus neurons, and in basal forebrain cholinergic neurons. In contrast, there was not a significant correlation between estimates of Kv4.1 or Kv4.3 mRNA abundance and A-type K+ current amplitudes. These results argue that Kv4.2 subunits are major constituents of somatodendritic A-type K+ channels in these four types of neuron. In spite of this common structural feature, there were significant differences in the voltage dependence and kinetics of A-type currents in the cell types studied, suggesting that other determinants may create important functional differences between A-type K+ currents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)579-588
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 15 2000


  • 4- AP
  • A-type K channel
  • Kv4
  • Potassium channels
  • Single-cell RT-PCR
  • TEA
  • Voltage clamp
  • mRNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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