Accumulation of long-lasting inactivation in rat brain K(+)-channels

Exp Brain Res. 1996 Aug;110(3):401-12. doi: 10.1007/BF00229140.


We studied the phenomenon of cumulative inactivation in the voltage-dependent K+ channels of the Shaker-related subfamily Kv1 cloned from rat brain and expressed in Xenopus oocytes. In Kv1.4, repetitive stimulations at intervals shorter than 20 s produce cumulative inactivation even for brief stimuli that elicit K+ currents which do not show any significant decline during the depolarising pulse. These effects are absent or greatly reduced in the clones Kv1.1, Kv1.3, Kv1.5 and Kv1.6, and in the deletion mutant Kv1.4-delta-110, characterised by lack of "fast" (N-type) inactivation. We find that the inactivation caused by a single pulse increases after the pulse while the channels deactivate, and subsides with two time constants, indicating the existence of (at least) two inactivated states: IS, with a slow recovery kinetics and IF, with faster kinetics. In the simplest kinetic scheme accounting for our observations, IF is coupled sequentially to the open state O, while IS can be reached at a fast rate both from IF and from a pre-open, activated state, A, that is in fast equilibrium with O. The accumulation of long-lasting inactivation during the repolarisation is favoured by the prolongation of the lifetime of activated states due to the presence of IF. This explains the smaller accumulation effect observed in channels lacking fast inactivation. The physiological implications of these findings suggest how different channels of the Kv1 subfamily can affect differently the firing behaviour of neurones.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Female
  • Kinetics
  • Kv1.4 Potassium Channel
  • Membrane Potentials / physiology
  • Microinjections
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / genetics*
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / isolation & purification
  • Oocytes
  • Patch-Clamp Techniques
  • Potassium Channels / biosynthesis
  • Potassium Channels / genetics*
  • Potassium Channels / isolation & purification
  • Potassium Channels, Voltage-Gated*
  • Rats
  • Recombinant Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Time Factors
  • Xenopus laevis


  • Kcna4 protein, rat
  • Kv1.4 Potassium Channel
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Potassium Channels
  • Potassium Channels, Voltage-Gated
  • Recombinant Proteins