Small-conductance calcium-activated K(+) channels (SK channels) regulate the excitability of neurons and their responsiveness to synaptic input patterns. SK channels contribute to the afterhyperpolarization (AHP) following action potential bursts, and curtail excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs) in neuronal dendrites. Here we review evidence that SK2 channels are expressed in rat cerebellar Purkinje cells during development and throughout adulthood, and play a key role in diverse cellular processes such as the regulation of the spike firing frequency and the modulation of calcium transients in dendritic spines. In Purkinje cells as well as in other types of neurons, SK2 channel plasticity seems to provide an important mechanism allowing these cells to adjust their intrinsic excitability and to alter the probabilities for the induction of synaptic learning correlates, such as long-term potentiation (LTP).
- Action Potentials
- Dendritic Spines
- Long-Term Potentiation
- Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases
- Purkinje Cells