Modulation of calcium-activated potassium small conductance (SK) current in rat dopamine neurons of the ventral tegmental area

Kush Paul, Dove J. Keith, Steven W. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Block of calcium-sensitive potassium SK current (gKCa[SK]) by apamin or bicuculline methiodide potentiates burst firing in dopamine neurons in the presence of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA). The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that calcium entry through NMDA-gated channels can potentiate gKCa[SK] in dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area. We used microelectrodes to record an outward tail current that was evoked by membrane depolarization under single-electrode voltage-clamp. Using bicuculline methiodide (50 μM) as a reversible inhibitor of gKCa [SK], we found that NMDA (15 μM) reduced the peak amplitude of the outward tail current by 39%. Contrary to expectations, our results suggest that stimulation of NMDA receptors reduces the calcium-activated potassium gKCa[SK], an effect that could facilitate NMDA-dependent burst firing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)180-184
Number of pages5
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Volume348
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 18 2003

Keywords

  • Apamin
  • Bicuculline methiodide
  • Brain slice
  • Ca dependent potassium SK channel
  • Dopamine
  • Ventral tegmental area

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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