Differences in biophysical properties of nucleus accumbens medium spiny neurons emerging from inactivation of inward rectifying potassium currents
© Steephen and Manchanda; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2007
Published: 6 July 2007
Nucleus accumbens medium spiny neurons display a two state membrane potential controlled by active channels and synaptic input. Inward rectifying potassium (KIR) channels play a major role in maintaining one of the states, the hyperpolarized down state. The KIR currents in 60% of these neurons are non-inactivating whereas in the remaining, they inactivate . The significance of this difference is unknown. We describe a computational study comparing the biophysical properties of medium spiny neurons possessing these two types of currents.
Two medium spiny neuron cells were modeled using NEURON, one equipped with non-inactivating KIR currents (henceforth, "Cell A") and the other with inactivating KIR currents (henceforth "Cell B") and their behaviors were compared in response to current injection inputs.
These results show that clear biophysical differences in the properties of medium spiny neurons can emerge owing to the presence of inactivation in KIR channels and indicate that these differences can influence state transitions driven by cortical and hippocampal excitatory inputs. They also suggest that the two types of neurons expressing the different types of KIR channels may have computationally different functions.
This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd.