Transient Potassium Channels : Therapeutic Targets for Brain Disorders

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Article number265
Number of pages14
Journal / PublicationFrontiers in Cellular Neuroscience
Online published13 Jun 2019
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019



Transient potassium current channels (IA channels), which are expressed in most brain areas, have a central role in modulating feedforward and feedback inhibition along the dendroaxonic axis. Loss of the modulatory channels is tightly associated with a number of brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, fragile X syndrome (FXS), Parkinson’s disease, chronic pain, tinnitus, and ataxia. However, the functional significance of IA channels in these diseases has so far been underestimated. In this review, we discuss the distribution and function of IA channels. Particularly, we posit that downregulation of IA channels results in neuronal (mostly dendritic) hyperexcitability accompanied by the imbalanced excitation and inhibition ratio in the brain’s networks, eventually causing the brain diseases. Finally, we propose a potential therapeutic target: the enhanced action of IA channels to counteract Ca2+-permeable channels including NMDA receptors could be harnessed to restore dendritic excitability, leading to a balanced neuronal state.

Research Area(s)

  • A-type potassium channels, Brain disorders, Dendritic spikes, NMDA receptor, VGCC

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