Ultrastructural localization of a voltage-gated K+ channel alpha subunit (KV 1.2) in the rat cerebellum

Eur J Neurosci. 1996 Apr;8(4):688-99. doi: 10.1111/j.1460-9568.1996.tb01254.x.


A highly specific monoclonal antibody and pre-embedding immunocytochemistry were employed to examine the distribution of the K+ channel, alpha subunit K(V)1.2 in the rat cerebellum. At the light microscopic level, the heaviest immunoreactivity was seen in the basket cell pinceau at the base of Purkinje cells, with lighter staining of basket and Golgi cell bodies and a punctate pattern in the granule cell and molecular layers. Electron microscopy was performed to identify the ultrastructural location of K(V)1.2 alpha subunit in these labelled structures. This revealed that the labelling of the pinceau was confined to the preterminal axonal plexus, the area immediately around the Purkinje axon initial segment being relatively devoid of staining. Basket cell parent axons were not immunostained, but gave rise to heavily stained fine processes. Immunoreactivity was also seen in myelinated axons in the granule cell layer and in the medial cerebellar nucleus, the staining being most concentrated at the juxtaparanodal regions of the axons. An unusual pattern of staining was seen in some mossy fibre terminals, with staining restricted to fine protuberances of mossy fibre glomeruli. Structures contacted by these protuberances included adjoining glial processes. Immunostaining was absent from Purkinje cell bodies, dendrites, their axon initial segments and their terminals in the medial cerebellar nucleus. In this study, the alpha subunit K(V)1.2 was localized to a number of different cell types in the cerebellum. Each neuronal type displays a distinct subcellular distribution of the subunit.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cerebellar Nuclei / metabolism
  • Cerebellar Nuclei / ultrastructure
  • Cerebellum / cytology
  • Cerebellum / metabolism*
  • Cerebellum / ultrastructure
  • Electrophysiology
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Ion Channel Gating*
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Potassium Channels / metabolism*
  • Potassium Channels / physiology
  • Potassium Channels / ultrastructure*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Tissue Distribution


  • Potassium Channels