Subcellular localization of the voltage-dependent potassium channel Kv3.1b in postnatal and adult rat medial nucleus of the trapezoid body

Neuroscience. 2003;118(4):889-98. doi: 10.1016/s0306-4522(03)00068-x.


A pre-embedding immunocytochemical method was used to study the subcellular distribution of the voltage-dependent potassium channel Kv3.1b in the medial nucleus of the trapezoid body (MNTB) in developing and adult rat. The main finding was the localization of the channel in specific membrane compartments of the calyces of Held and principal globular neurons. Thus, at postnatal day (P) 9 immunoparticles were densely localized in plasma membranes of globular cell bodies and their main dendrites. At P16, a strong Kv3.1b labeling was still observed in these globular cell compartments, but the most remarkable feature was the presence of immunoparticles in synaptic terminal membranes of the calyces of Held. However, the presynaptic and postsynaptic specializations of the calyx of Held-globular cell synapses were virtually devoid of immunoparticles. This same subcellular distribution of Kv3.1b was seen in adult, with membranes of calycine terminals more uniformly labeled. The developmental profile of Kv3.1b expression in MNTB coincides with the functional maturation of the calyx of Held-principal globular neuron synapse. The presence of the channel in this system is crucial for the high-frequency synaptic transmission of auditory signals.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aging / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Immunohistochemistry / methods
  • Microscopy, Immunoelectron / instrumentation
  • Microscopy, Immunoelectron / methods
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Neurons / ultrastructure
  • Neuropeptides / metabolism*
  • Pons / growth & development
  • Pons / metabolism*
  • Pons / ultrastructure
  • Potassium Channels / metabolism*
  • Potassium Channels / ultrastructure
  • Potassium Channels, Voltage-Gated*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Shaw Potassium Channels
  • Subcellular Fractions / metabolism
  • Subcellular Fractions / ultrastructure


  • Neuropeptides
  • Potassium Channels
  • Potassium Channels, Voltage-Gated
  • Shaw Potassium Channels