[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Small conductance Ca(2+)-activated K(+) (SK) channels and voltage-gated A-type Kv4 channels shape dendritic excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs) in hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons. Synaptically evoked Ca(2+) influx through N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDARs) activates spine SK channels, reducing EPSPs and the associated spine head Ca(2+) transient. However, results using glutamate uncaging implicated Ca(2+) influx through SNX-482-sensitive (SNX-sensitive) Cav2.3 (R-type) Ca(2+) channels as the Ca(2+) source for SK channel activation. The present findings show that, using Schaffer collateral stimulation, the effects of SNX and apamin are not mutually exclusive and SNX increases EPSPs independent of SK channel activity. Dialysis with 1,2-bis(o-aminophenoxy)ethane-N'N'N'-tetraacetic acid (BAPTA), application of 4-Aminopyridine (4-AP), expression of a Kv4.2 dominant negative subunit, and dialysis with a KChIPs antibody occluded the SNX-induced increase of EPSPs. The results suggest two distinct Ca(2+) signaling pathways within dendritic spines that link Ca(2+) influx through NMDARs to SK channels and Ca(2+) influx through R-type Ca(2+) channels to Kv4.2-containing channels.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Premature and long-term ovarian hormone loss following ovariectomy (OVX) is associated with cognitive impairment. This condition is prevented by estradiol (E2) therapy when initiated shortly following OVX but not after substantial delay. To determine whether these clinical findings are correlated with changes in synaptic functions, we used adult OVX rats to evaluate the consequences of short-term (7-10 d, OVXControl) and long-term (∼5 months, OVXLT) ovarian hormone loss, as well as subsequent in vivo E2 treatment, on excitatory synaptic transmission at the hippocampal CA3-CA1 synapses important for learning and memory. The results show that ovarian hormone loss was associated with a marked decrease in synaptic strength. E2 treatment increased synaptic strength in OVXControl but not OVXLT rats, demonstrating a change in the efficacy for E2 5 months following OVX. E2 also had a more rapid effect: within minutes of bath application, E2 acutely increased synaptic strength in all groups except OVXLT rats that did not receive in vivo E2 treatment. E2's acute effect was mediated postsynaptically, and required Ca(2+) influx through the voltage-gated Ca(2+) channels. Despite E2's acute effect, synaptic strength of OVXLT rats remained significantly lower than that of OVXControl rats. Thus, changes in CA3-CA1 synaptic transmission associated with ovarian hormone loss cannot be fully reversed with delayed E2 treatment. Given that synaptic strength at CA3-CA1 synapses is related to the ability to learn hippocampus-dependent tasks, these findings provide additional insights for understanding cognitive impairment-associated long-term ovarian hormone loss and ineffectiveness for delayed E2 treatment to maintain cognitive functions.
The Journal of Neuroscience : The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience 10/2013; 33(41):16158-16169. DOI:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2001-13.2013 · 6.34 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We investigated the temporal and spatial expression of SK2 in the developing mouse hippocampus using molecular and biochemical techniques, quantitative immunogold electron microscopy, and electrophysiology. The mRNA encoding SK2 was expressed in the developing and adult hippocampus. Western blotting and immunohistochemistry showed that SK2 protein increased with age. This was accompanied by a shift in subcellular localization. Early in development (P5), SK2 was predominantly localized to the endoplasmic reticulum in the pyramidal cell layer. But by P30 SK2 was almost exclusively expressed in the dendrites and spines. The level of SK2 at the postsynaptic density (PSD) also increased during development. In the adult, SK2 expression on the spine plasma membrane showed a proximal-to-distal gradient. Consistent with this redistribution and gradient of SK2, the selective SK channel blocker apamin increased evoked excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs) only in CA1 pyramidal neurons from mice older than P15. However, the effect of apamin on EPSPs was not different between synapses in proximal or distal stratum radiatum or stratum lacunosum-moleculare in adult. These results show a developmental increase and gradient in SK2-containing channel surface expression that underlie their influence on neurotransmission, and that may contribute to increased memory acquisition during early development.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Small- and intermediate-conductance Ca(2+)-activated K(+) channels (SK3/Kcnn3 and IK1/Kcnn4) are expressed in vascular endothelium. Their activities play important roles in regulating vascular tone through their modulation of intracellular concentration ([Ca(2+)](i)) required for the production of endothelium-derived vasoactive agents. Activation of endothelial IK1 or SK3 channels hyperpolarizes endothelial cell membrane potential, increases Ca(2+) influx, and leads to the release of vasoactive factors, thereby impacting blood pressure. To examine the distinct roles of IK1 and SK3 channels, we used electrophysiological recordings to investigate IK1 and SK3 channel trafficking in acutely dissociated endothelial cells from mouse aorta. The results show that SK3 channels undergo Ca(2+)-dependent cycling between the plasma membrane and intracellular organelles; disrupting Ca(2+)-dependent endothelial caveolae cycling abolishes SK3 channel trafficking. Moreover, transmitter-induced changes in SK3 channel activity and surface expression modulate endothelial membrane potential. In contrast, IK1 channels do not undergo rapid trafficking and their activity remains unchanged when either exo- or endocytosis is block. Thus modulation of SK3 surface expression may play an important role in regulating endothelial membrane potential in a Ca(2+)-dependent manner.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In mouse hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons, the activity of synaptic small-conductance Ca(2+)-activated K(+) channels type 2 (SK2 channels) provides a negative feedback on N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDARs), reestablishing Mg(2+) block that reduces Ca(2+) influx. The well-established role of NMDARs in ischemia-induced excitotoxicity led us to test the neuroprotective effect of modulating SK2 channel activity following cerebral ischemia induced by cardiac arrest and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CA/CPR). Administration of the SK channel positive modulator, 1-ethyl-benzimidazolinone (1-EBIO), significantly reduced CA1 neuron cell death and improved CA/CPR-induced cognitive outcome. Electrophysiological recordings showed that CA/CPR-induced ischemia caused delayed and sustained reduction of synaptic SK channel activity, and immunoelectron microscopy showed that this is associated with internalization of synaptic SK2 channels, which was prevented by 1-EBIO treatment. These results suggest that increasing SK2 channel activity, or preventing ischemia-induced loss of synaptic SK2 channels, are promising and novel approaches to neuroprotection following cerebral ischemia.
Journal of cerebral blood flow and metabolism: official journal of the International Society of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism 06/2011; 31(12):2302-12. DOI:10.1038/jcbfm.2011.90 · 5.41 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: SK2-containing channels are expressed in the postsynaptic density (PSD) of dendritic spines on mouse hippocampal area CA1 pyramidal neurons and influence synaptic responses, plasticity and learning. The Sk2 gene (also known as Kcnn2) encodes two isoforms that differ only in the length of their N-terminal domains. SK2-long (SK2-L) and SK2-short (SK2-S) are coexpressed in CA1 pyramidal neurons and likely form heteromeric channels. In mice lacking SK2-L (SK2-S only mice), SK2-S-containing channels were expressed in the extrasynaptic membrane, but were excluded from the PSD. The SK channel contribution to excitatory postsynaptic potentials was absent in SK2-S only mice and was restored by SK2-L re-expression. Blocking SK channels increased the amount of long-term potentiation induced in area CA1 in slices from wild-type mice but had no effect in slices from SK2-S only mice. Furthermore, SK2-S only mice outperformed wild-type mice in the novel object recognition task. These results indicate that SK2-L directs synaptic SK2-containing channel expression and is important for normal synaptic signaling, plasticity and learning.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Small-conductance Ca(2+)-activated K(+) channels (SK channels) are widely expressed throughout the central nervous system. These channels are activated solely by increases in intracellular Ca(2+). SK channels are stable macromolecular complexes of the ion pore-forming subunits with calmodulin, which serves as the intrinsic Ca(2+) gating subunit, as well as with protein kinase CK2 and protein phosphatase 2A, which modulate Ca(2+) sensitivity. Well-known for their roles in regulating somatic excitability in central neurons, SK channels are also expressed in the postsynaptic membrane of glutamatergic synapses, where their activation and regulated trafficking modulate synaptic transmission and the induction and expression of synaptic plasticity, thereby affecting learning and memory. In this review we discuss the molecular and functional properties of SK channels and their physiological roles in central neurons.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Premature and uncompensated loss of ovarian hormones following ovariectomy (OVX) elevates the risks of cognitive impairment and dementia. These risks are prevented with estrogen (E(2))-containing hormone replacement therapy initiated shortly following OVX but not after substantial delay. Currently, the cellular bases underlying these clinical findings are unknown. At the cellular level, intrinsic membrane properties regulate the efficiency of synaptic inputs to initiate output action potentials (APs), thereby affecting neuronal communication, hence cognitive processing. This study tested the hypothesis that in CA1 pyramidal neurons, intrinsic membrane properties and their acute regulation by E(2) require ovarian hormones for maintenance. Whole-cell current-clamp recordings were performed on neurons from ∼ 7-month-old OVX rats that experienced either short-term (10 d, control OVX) or long-term (5 months, OVX(LT)) ovarian hormone deficiency. The results reveal that long-term hormone deficiency reduced intrinsic membrane excitability (IE) as measured by the number of evoked APs and firing duration for a given current injection. This was accompanied by AP broadening, an increased slow afterhyperpolarization (sAHP), and faster accumulation of Na(V) channel inactivation during repetitive firing. In the control OVX neurons, E(2) acutely increased IE and reduced the sAHP. In contrast, acute regulation of IE by E(2) was absent in the OVX(LT) neurons. Since the degree of IE of hippocampal pyramidal neurons is positively related with hippocampus-dependent learning ability, and modulation of IE is observed following successful learning, these findings provide a framework for understanding hormone deficiency-related cognitive impairment and the critical window for therapy initiation.
The Journal of Neuroscience : The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience 02/2011; 31(7):2638-48. DOI:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.6081-10.2011 · 6.34 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cholinergic signaling modulates synaptic responses and influences cognition. In this issue of Neuron, two groups (Buchanan et al. and Giessel and Sabatini) present evidence that cholinergic signaling enhances postsynaptic responses in CA1 neurons by decreasing synaptic SK channel activity. However, they come to different conclusions about the protein kinases involved in this process.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Small conductance Ca(2+)-activated K(+) type 2 (SK2) channels are expressed in the postsynaptic density of CA1 neurons where they are activated by synaptically evoked Ca(2+) influx to limit the size of EPSPs and spine Ca(2+) transients. At Schaffer collateral synapses, the induction of long-term potentiation (LTP) increases the alpha-amino-3-hydroxyl-5-methyl-4-isoxazole-propionate receptor (AMPAR)-mediated contribution to synaptic transmission and decreases the synaptic SK2 channel contribution through protein kinase A-dependent channel endocytosis. Using a combination of electrophysiology and immunoelectron microscopy in mice, the relationship between the dynamics of spine SK2 channels and AMPARs was investigated. Unlike AMPARs, synaptic SK2 channels under basal conditions do not rapidly recycle. Furthermore, SK2 channels occupy a distinct population of endosomes separate from AMPARs. However, blocking vesicular exocytosis or the delivery of synaptic GluA1-containing AMPARs during the induction of LTP blocks SK2 channel endocytosis. By approximately 2 h after the induction of LTP, synaptic SK2 channel expression and function are restored. Thus, LTP-dependent endocytosis of SK2 is coupled to LTP-dependent AMPA exocytosis, and the approximately 2 h window after the induction of LTP during which synaptic SK2 activity is absent may be important for consolidating the later phases of LTP.
The Journal of Neuroscience : The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience 09/2010; 30(35):11726-34. DOI:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1411-10.2010 · 6.34 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: It was recently discovered that two different types of voltage-insensitive K+ channels, G protein-coupled inwardly rectifying K+ (GIRK) and small-conductance Ca2+-activated K+ (SK) channels, are located on dendritic branches, spines and shafts in the postsynaptic densities of excitatory synapses in many central neurons. Together with increases in our knowledge of how these channels are regulated through stable protein-protein interactions in multi-protein complexes, this has added another layer of complexity to our understanding of synaptic transmission and plasticity.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Long-term potentiation (LTP) of synaptic strength at Schaffer collateral synapses has largely been attributed to changes in the number and biophysical properties of AMPA receptors (AMPARs). Small-conductance Ca(2+)-activated K(+) channels (SK2 channels) are functionally coupled with NMDA receptors (NMDARs) in CA1 spines such that their activity modulates the shape of excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs) and increases the threshold for induction of LTP. Here we show that LTP induction in mouse hippocampus abolishes SK2 channel activity in the potentiated synapses. This effect is due to SK2 channel internalization from the postsynaptic density (PSD) into the spine. Blocking PKA or cell dialysis with a peptide representing the C-terminal domain of SK2 that contains three known PKA phosphorylation sites blocks the internalization of SK2 channels after LTP induction. Thus the increase in AMPARs and the decrease in SK2 channels combine to produce the increased EPSP underlying LTP.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Small conductance calcium-gated potassium (SK) channels share an overall topology with voltage-gated potassium (K(v)) channels, but are distinct in that they are gated solely by calcium (Ca(2+)), not voltage. For K(v) channels there is strong evidence for an activation gate at the intracellular end of the pore, which was not revealed by substituted cysteine accessibility of the homologous region in SK2 channels. In this study, the divalent ions cadmium (Cd(2+)) and barium (Ba(2+)), and 2-aminoethyl methanethiosulfonate (MTSEA) were used to probe three sites in the SK2 channel pore, each intracellular to (on the selectivity filter side of) the region that forms the intracellular activation gate of voltage-gated ion channels. We report that Cd(2+) applied to the intracellular side of the membrane can modify a cysteine introduced to a site (V391C) just intracellular to the putative activation gate whether channels are open or closed. Similarly, MTSEA applied to the intracellular side of the membrane can access a cysteine residue (A384C) that, based on homology to potassium (K) channel crystal structures (i.e., the KcsA/MthK model), resides one amino acid intracellular to the glycine gating hinge. Cd(2+) and MTSEA modify with similar rates whether the channels are open or closed. In contrast, Ba(2+) applied to the intracellular side of the membrane, which is believed to block at the intracellular end of the selectivity filter, blocks open but not closed channels when applied to the cytoplasmic face of rSK2 channels. Moreover, Ba(2+) is trapped in SK2 channels when applied to open channels that are subsequently closed. Ba(2+) pre-block slows MTSEA modification of A384C in open but not in closed (Ba(2+)-trapped) channels. The findings suggest that the SK channel activation gate resides deep in the vestibule of the channel, perhaps in the selectivity filter itself.
The Journal of General Physiology 01/2008; 130(6):601-10. DOI:10.1085/jgp.200709828 · 4.79 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 is a transcription factor that is involved in gene silencing. It is mutated in the majority of cases of Rett syndrome. This X-linked neurodevelopmental disorder is reported to involve abnormalities in autonomic cardiovascular regulation. As an initial step in understanding the basis for these abnormalities we have characterized autonomic cardiovascular function in Mecp2 deficient mice. Arterial pressure waves were recorded in freely moving animals using telemetry. Baseline blood pressure and pulse interval (PI) as well as indices of heart rate variability (HRV): standard deviation of PI (SDNN), range encompassing 90% of PIs (PI90) and standard deviation of adjacent PIs (SDSD) were similar in Mecp2(+/+) and Mecp2(+/-) animals. Spectral analysis of mean arterial pressure (MAP) and PI in the frequency domain showed similar relative power in low frequency 1 (LF1, 08-0.4 Hz), low frequency 2 (LF2, 0.4-1.0 Hz), middle frequency (MF, 1-3 Hz) and high frequency (HF, 3.0-10.0 Hz) bands. Autonomic blockade with atropine or propranolol as well as elevation in ambient temperature to 32 degrees C resulted in changes in blood pressure, PI and HRV that did not differ between the strains. Atropine, propranolol and elevated temperature resulted in similar changes in both MAP and PI spectral power. Baroreceptor function was tested using intravenous injections of nitroprusside followed by phenylephrine. Maximum gain was not different. These results do reveal any disturbance of autonomic cardiovascular regulation in the Mecp2 deficient mouse genotype.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Small conductance Ca2+-activated K+ channels (SK channels) are complexes of four alpha pore-forming subunits each bound by calmodulin (CaM) that mediate Ca2+ gating. Proteomic analysis indicated that SK2 channels also bind protein kinase CK2 (CK2) and protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A). Coexpression of SK2 with the CaM phosphorylation surrogate CaM(T80D) suggested that the apparent Ca2+ sensitivity of SK2 channels is reduced by CK2 phosphorylation of SK2-bound CaM. By using 4,5,6,7-tetrabromo-2-azabenzimidazole, a CK2-specific inhibitor, we confirmed that SK2 channels coassemble with CK2. PP2A also binds to SK2 channels and counterbalances the effects of CK2, as shown by coexpression of a dominant-negative mutant PP2A as well as a mutant SK2 channel no longer able to bind PP2A. In vitro binding studies have revealed interactions between the N and C termini of the channel subunits as well as interactions among CK2 alpha and beta subunits, PP2A, and distinct domains of the channel. In the channel complex, lysine residue 121 within the N-terminal domain of the channel activates SK2-bound CK2, and phosphorylation of CaM is state dependent, occurring only when the channels are closed. The effects of CK2 and PP2A indicate that native SK2 channels are multiprotein complexes that contain constitutively associated CaM, both subunits of CK2, and at least two different subunits of PP2A. The results also show that the Ca2+ sensitivity of SK2 channels is regulated in a dynamic manner, directly through CK2 and PP2A, and indirectly by Ca2+ itself via the state dependence of CaM phosphorylation by CK2.
The Journal of Neuroscience : The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience 03/2007; 27(9):2369-76. DOI:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3565-06.2007 · 6.34 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Apamin-sensitive, small-conductance, Ca2+-activated K+ channels (SK channels) modulate neuronal excitability in CA1 neurons. Blocking all SK channel subtypes with apamin facilitates the induction of hippocampal synaptic plasticity and enhances hippocampal learning. In CA1 dendrites, SK channels are activated by Ca2+ through NMDA receptors and restrict glutamate-mediated EPSPs. Studies of SK channel knock-out mice reveal that of the three apamin-sensitive SK channel subunits (SK1-SK3), only SK2 subunits are necessary for the apamin-sensitive currents in CA1 hippocampal neurons. To determine the specific influence of SK2 channels on hippocampal synaptic plasticity, learning, and memory, we used gene targeting through homologous recombination in embryonic stem cells to generate transgenic mice that overexpress SK2 subunits by 10-fold (SK2+/T). In these mice, the apamin-sensitive current in CA1 neurons was increased by approximately fourfold, relative to wild-type (WT) littermates. In addition, the amplitude of synaptically evoked EPSPs recorded from SK2+/T CA1 neurons increased twice as much in response to SK channel blockade relative to EPSPs recorded from WT CA1 neurons. Consistent with this, SK2 overexpression reduced long-term potentiation after high-frequency stimulation compared with WT littermates and severely impaired learning in both hippocampus- and amygdala-dependent tasks. We conclude that SK2 channels regulate hippocampal synaptic plasticity and play a critical role in modulating mechanisms of learning and memory.
The Journal of Neuroscience : The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience 03/2006; 26(6):1844-53. DOI:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4106-05.2006 · 6.34 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The SK2 subtype of small conductance Ca2+-activated K+ channels is widely distributed throughout the central nervous system and modulates neuronal excitability by contributing to the afterhyperpolarization that follows an action potential. Western blots of brain membrane proteins prepared from wild type and SK2-null mice reveal two isoforms of SK2, a 49-kDa band corresponding to the previously reported SK2 protein (SK2-S) and a novel 78-kDa form. Complementary DNA clones from brain and Western blots probed with an antibody specific for the longer form, SK2-L, identified the larger molecular weight isoform as an N-terminally extended SK2 protein. The N-terminal extension of SK2-L is cysteine-rich and mediates disulfide bond formation between SK2-L subunits or with heterologous proteins. Immunohistochemistry revealed that in brain SK2-L and SK2-S are expressed in similar but not identical patterns. Heterologous expression of SK2-L results in functional homomeric channels with Ca2+ sensitivity similar to that of SK2-S, consistent with their shared core and intracellular C-terminal domains. In contrast to the diffuse, uniform surface distribution of SK2-S, SK2-L channels cluster into sharply defined, distinct puncta suggesting that the extended cysteine-rich N-terminal domain mediates this process. Immunoprecipitations from transfected cells and mouse brain demonstrate that SK2-L co-assembles with the other SK subunits. Taken together, the results show that the SK2 gene encodes two subunit proteins and suggest that native SK2-L subunits may preferentially partition into heteromeric channel complexes with other SK subunits.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Small conductance calcium-activated potassium channels link elevations of intracellular calcium ions to membrane potential, exerting a hyperpolarizing influence when activated. The consequences of SK channel activity have been revealed by the specific blocker apamin, a peptide toxin from honeybee venom. Recent studies have revealed unexpected roles for SK channels in fine-tuning intrinsic cell firing properties and in responsiveness to synaptic input. They have also identified specific roles for different SK channel subtypes. A host of Ca2+ sources, including distinct subtypes of voltage-dependent calcium channels, intracellular Ca2+ stores and Ca2+-permeable ionotropic neurotransmitter receptors, activate SK channels. The macromolecular complex in which the Ca2+ source, SK channels and various modulators are assembled determines the kinetics and consequences of SK channel activation.
Current Opinion in Neurobiology 07/2005; 15(3):305-11. DOI:10.1016/j.conb.2005.05.001 · 6.63 Impact Factor