SK2 channel expression and function in cerebellar Purkinje cells

J Physiol. 2011 Jul 15;589(Pt 14):3433-40. doi: 10.1113/jphysiol.2011.205823. Epub 2011 Apr 26.


Small-conductance calcium-activated K(+) channels (SK channels) regulate the excitability of neurons and their responsiveness to synaptic input patterns. SK channels contribute to the afterhyperpolarization (AHP) following action potential bursts, and curtail excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs) in neuronal dendrites. Here we review evidence that SK2 channels are expressed in rat cerebellar Purkinje cells during development and throughout adulthood, and play a key role in diverse cellular processes such as the regulation of the spike firing frequency and the modulation of calcium transients in dendritic spines. In Purkinje cells as well as in other types of neurons, SK2 channel plasticity seems to provide an important mechanism allowing these cells to adjust their intrinsic excitability and to alter the probabilities for the induction of synaptic learning correlates, such as long-term potentiation (LTP).

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / physiology
  • Animals
  • Dendritic Spines / physiology
  • Germinal Center Kinases
  • Long-Term Potentiation / physiology
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases / biosynthesis
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases / physiology*
  • Purkinje Cells / metabolism
  • Purkinje Cells / physiology*
  • Rats
  • Synapses / metabolism


  • Germinal Center Kinases
  • Slk protein, rat
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases