Article

K+ channel alterations in the progression of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis

Integrated Biomedical Graduate Program, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA.
Neurobiology of Disease (Impact Factor: 5.2). 04/2012; 47(2):280-93. DOI: 10.1016/j.nbd.2012.04.012
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Voltage-gated K(+) (Kv) channels play critical roles not only in regulating synaptic transmission and intrinsic excitability of neurons, but also in controlling the function and proliferation of other cells in the central nervous system (CNS). The non-specific Kv channel blocker, 4-AminoPyridine (4-AP) (Dalfampridine, Ampyra®), is currently used to treat multiple sclerosis (MS), an inflammatory demyelinating disease. However, little is known how various types of Kv channels are altered in any inflammatory demyelinating diseases. By using established animal models for MS, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), we report that expression and distribution patterns of Kv channels are altered in the CNS correlating with EAE severity. The juxtaparanodal (JXP) targeting of Kv1.2/Kvβ2 along myelinated axons is disrupted within demyelinated lesions in the white matter of spinal cord in EAE. Moreover, somatodendritic Kv2.1 channels in the motor neurons of lower spinal cord significantly decrease correlating with EAE severity. Interestingly, Kv1.4 expression surrounding lesions is markedly up-regulated in the initial acute phase of both EAE models. Its expression in glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP)-positive astrocytes further increases in the remitting phase of remitting-relapsing EAE (rrEAE), but decreases in late chronic EAE (chEAE) and the relapse of rrEAE, suggesting that Kv1.4-positive astrocytes may be neuroprotective. Taken together, our studies reveal myelin-dependent and -independent alterations of Kv channels in the progression of EAE and lay a solid foundation for future study in search of a better treatment for MS.

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