M-channels modulate the intrinsic excitability and synaptic responses of layer 2/3 pyramidal neurons in auditory cortex

Sujeong Lee, Jeehyun Kwag

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Neurons in the auditory cortex are believed to utilize temporal patterns of neural activity to accurately process auditory information but the intrinsic neuronal mechanism underlying the control of auditory neural activity is not known. The slowly activating, persistent K+ channel, also called M-channel that belongs to the Kv7 family, is already known to be important in regulating subthreshold neural excitability and synaptic summation in neocortical and hippocampal pyramidal neurons. However, its functional role in the primary auditory cortex (A1) has never been characterized. In this study, we investigated the roles of M-channels on neuronal excitability, short-term plasticity, and synaptic summation of A1 layer 2/3 regular spiking pyramidal neurons with whole-cell current-clamp recordings in vitro. We found that blocking M-channels with a selective M-channel blocker, XE991, significantly increased neural excitability of A1 layer 2/3 pyramidal neurons. Furthermore, M-channels controled synaptic responses of intralaminar-evoked excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs); XE991 significantly increased EPSP amplitude, decreased the rate of short-term depression, and increased the synaptic summation. These results suggest that M-channels are involved in controlling spike output patterns and synaptic responses of A1 layer 2/3 pyramidal neurons, which would have important implications in auditory information processing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)448-453
Number of pages6
JournalBiochemical and biophysical research communications
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Oct 5

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the World Class University (WCU) program ( R31-10008 ) and by the Basic Science Research Program ( 2012-0003500 ) through the National Research Foundation of Korea funded by the Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology .


  • Auditory cortex
  • M-channel
  • Pyramidal neuron
  • Short-term depression
  • Spike excitability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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