The long-term objectives are to study how potasslunn channels regulation contributes to neuronal signaling.
The specific aims are to understand how the dendritic voltage-gated potassium channels and G proteinactivated inwardly rectifying potassium (GIRK) channels are regulated in hippocampal neurons, and how these potassium channels contribute to neuronal signaling and synaptic plasticity. The research design involves examination of mutant mice with altered or deleted potassium channel regulatory proteins, for regulation of either the local synthesis of channels in the dendrite or the activity or kinetic properties of the channel on the cell membrane. Because the Kv1 voltage-gated potassium channels reside on both dendrites and axons, the mosaic analysis with double markers (MADM) approach will be employed to study the physiological role of dendritic Kv1 channels.
Mental disorders may involve an imbalance between excitation and inhibition. Whereas current studies focus primarily on synaptic function, little is known about the regulation of slow synaptic inhibition or plasticity of dendritic excitability that contributes to experience-induced changes of information processing. It is therefore important to study the physiological contribution of dendritic potassium channels.
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