Gene expression studies suggest that differential ion channel expression contributes to differences in rodent versus human neuronal physiology. We tested whether h-channels more prominently contribute to the physiological properties of human compared to mouse supragranular pyramidal neurons. Single-cell/nucleus RNA sequencing revealed ubiquitous HCN1-subunit expression in excitatory neurons in human, but not mouse, supragranular layers. Using patch-clamp recordings, we found stronger h-channel-related membrane properties in supragranular pyramidal neurons in human temporal cortex, compared to mouse supragranular pyramidal neurons in temporal association area. The magnitude of these differences depended upon cortical depth and was largest in pyramidal neurons in deep L3. Additionally, pharmacologically blocking h-channels produced a larger change in membrane properties in human compared to mouse neurons. Finally, using biophysical modeling, we provide evidence that h-channels promote the transfer of theta frequencies from dendrite-to-soma in human L3 pyramidal neurons. Thus, h-channels contribute to between-species differences in a fundamental neuronal property.
Keywords: Human; gene expression; h-channel; intrinsic membrane properties; mouse; neuron model; oscillations; patch-clamp physiology; pyramidal neuron.
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