Developmental changes in the expression of calbindin and potassium-channel subunits Kv3.1b and Kv3.2 in mouse Renshaw cells

Neuroscience. 2006 May 12;139(2):531-8. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2005.12.048. Epub 2006 Feb 7.


One class of spinal interneurons, the Renshaw cells, is able to discharge at very high frequencies in adult mammals. Neuronal firing at such high frequencies requires voltage-gated potassium channels to rapidly repolarize the membrane potential after each action potential. We sought to establish the pattern of expression of calbindin and potassium channels with Kv3.1b and Kv3.2 subunits in Renshaw cells at different developmental stages of postnatal mice. The pattern of expression of calbindin changed dramatically during early postnatal development. An adult pattern of calbindin reactive neurons started to emerge from postnatal day 10 to postnatal day 14, with cells in laminae I and II of superficial dorsal horn and the ventral lamina VII. Renshaw cells were identified immunohistochemically by their expression of calbindin and their location in the ventral horn of the spinal cord. Western blot results of the lumbar spinal cord showed that Kv3.1b expression became faintly evident from postnatal day 10, reached a maximum at postnatal day 21 and was maintained through postnatal day 49. Double labeling results showed that all Renshaw cells expressed Kv3.1b weakly from postnatal day 14, and strongly at postnatal day 21. Western blot results showed that Kv3.2 expression became detectable in the lumbar cord from postnatal day 12, and increased steadily until reaching an adult level at postnatal day 28. In contrast to the Kv3.1b results, Kv3.2 was not expressed in Renshaw cells, although some neurons located at laminae VIII and VI expressed Kv3.2. We conclude that Renshaw cells express Kv3.1b but not Kv3.2 from postnatal day 14.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Blotting, Western / methods
  • Calbindins
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental / physiology*
  • Immunohistochemistry / methods
  • Interneurons / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Microscopy, Confocal / methods
  • S100 Calcium Binding Protein G / genetics
  • S100 Calcium Binding Protein G / metabolism*
  • Shaw Potassium Channels / genetics
  • Shaw Potassium Channels / metabolism*
  • Spinal Cord / cytology*
  • Spinal Cord / growth & development


  • Calbindins
  • S100 Calcium Binding Protein G
  • Shaw Potassium Channels