Potassium currents in developing neurons

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1999 Apr 30;868:399-405. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.1999.tb11301.x.


In Xenopus spinal neurons, delayed rectifier type voltage-dependent potassium currents (IKv) are developmentally regulated. These currents play a pivotal role in maturation of the action potential from a long-duration calcium-dependent impulse to a brief sodium-dependent one. Although spinal neurons are heterogeneous, IKv undergoes a synchronized and homogeneous developmental functional up-regulation across this diverse population of motor, sensory, and interneurons. This finding suggested that the diverse population of neurons expressed a common potassium channel. Thus, recent efforts have been directed towards cloning the relevant potassium channel gene. However, these molecular studies reveal an unsuspected heterogeneity in the molecular components of voltage-dependent potassium channels. Further, synchronous differentiation of IKv is achieved via heterogeneous Kv channel gene expression.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / physiology
  • Animals
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Neurons / metabolism*
  • Potassium / metabolism*
  • Potassium Channels / genetics*
  • Spinal Cord / embryology
  • Spinal Cord / metabolism
  • Xenopus laevis


  • Potassium Channels
  • Potassium