Immunolocalization of the arachidonic acid and mechanosensitive baseline traak potassium channel in the nervous system

Neuroscience. 2000;95(3):893-901. doi: 10.1016/s0306-4522(99)00484-4.


TRAAK is the sole member of the emerging class of 2P domain K+ channels to be exclusively expressed in neuronal cells. TRAAK produces baseline K+ currents which are strongly stimulated by arachidonic acid and by mechanical stretch, and which are insensitive to the classical K+ channel blockers tetraethylammonium, Ba2+, and Cs+. This report describes the immunolocalization of TRAAK in brain, spinal cord, and retina of the adult mouse. The most striking finding is the widespread distribution of the TRAAK immunoreactivity, with a prominent staining of the cerebellar cortex, neocortex, hippocampus, dentate gyrus, subiculum, the dorsal hippocampal commissure, thalamus, caudate-putamen, olfactory bulb, and several nuclei in the brainstem. Virtually all neurons express TRAAK, and the highest immunoreactivity was seen in soma, and to a lesser degree in axons and/or dendrites in most areas in brain and spinal cord. In the retina, the TRAAK protein is concentrated to the soma of ganglion cells and to the dendrites of all other neurons. Taken together, these results show a wide distribution of TRAAK, a mechanosensitive and arachidonic acid-stimulated neuron-specific baseline K+ channel, in brain, spinal cord and retina.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arachidonic Acid / metabolism*
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Brain Stem / metabolism
  • Cell Line
  • Cerebellar Cortex / metabolism
  • Hippocampus / metabolism
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Insecta
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Potassium Channels / metabolism*
  • Retina / metabolism*
  • Spinal Cord / metabolism*
  • Tissue Distribution


  • Kcnk4 protein, mouse
  • Potassium Channels
  • Arachidonic Acid