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Heterogeneity in Kv2 Channel Expression Shapes Action Potential Characteristics and Firing Patterns in CA1 versus CA2 Hippocampal Pyramidal Neurons


The CA1 region of the hippocampus plays a critical role in spatial and contextual memory, and has well-established circuitry, function and plasticity. In contrast, the properties of the flanking CA2 pyramidal neurons (PNs), important for social memory, and lacking CA1-like plasticity, remain relatively understudied. In particular, little is known regarding the expression of voltage-gated K+ (Kv) channels and the contribution of these channels to the distinct properties of intrinsic excitability, action potential (AP) waveform, firing patterns and neurotransmission between CA1 and CA2 PNs. In the present study, we used multiplex fluorescence immunolabeling of mouse brain sections, and whole-cell recordings in acute mouse brain slices, to define the role of heterogeneous expression of Kv2 family Kv channels in CA1 versus CA2 pyramidal cell excitability. Our results show that the somatodendritic delayed rectifier Kv channel subunits Kv2.1, Kv2.2, and their auxiliary subunit AMIGO-1 have region-specific differences in expression in PNs, with the highest expression levels in CA1, a sharp decrease at the CA1-CA2 boundary, and significantly reduced levels in CA2 neurons. PNs in CA1 exhibit a robust contribution of Guangxitoxin-1E-sensitive Kv2-based delayed rectifier current to AP shape and after-hyperpolarization potential (AHP) relative to that seen in CA2 PNs. Our results indicate that robust Kv2 channel expression confers a distinct pattern of intrinsic excitability to CA1 PNs, potentially contributing to their different roles in hippocampal network function.

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