Regulation of neuron accuracy by modulation of potassium channels

Published on February 28, 2011 Updated on March 8, 2021   53 min

A selection of talks on Biochemistry

0:00
Good day everyone. My name is Leon Kaczmarek, and as will be evident from this slide, I'm going to be talking about the regulation of neuronal accuracy by the modulation of potassium channels.
0:12
One of the key problems in neuroscience is to understand how neurons are able to produce changes in the behavior of an animal. This of course occurs during learning and memory and in many other types of changes of behavior. One of the things that's emerging about this is that there are changes in the intrinsic excitability of neurons that accompany many of these changes in behavior. If one records the electrical activity of a neuron in the brain, one can see that it is very variable. Some neurons have short, narrow action potentials, other neurons have wider action potentials that can be very different in amplitude. Some neurons, when isolated from any other inputs, have no spontaneous activity, whereas others can fire repetitively by themselves, still other neurons can generate repetitive bursts of action potentials, and these are particularly favored in circuits that underlie rhythmic activities, such as locomotion, breathing, etc. Neurons also vary a lot in the way they respond to and maintain synaptic input. Some neurons can be stimulated for a very brief period of time and they will continue to fire once that input has stopped. Still other neurons will fire continually as they're being stimulated, whereas yet other neurons will adapt very rapidly or sometimes not so rapidly to a maintained stimulus. Now one of the interesting things about these intrinsic properties of the neurons is that they're not fixed for all time, but that changes in the environment or changes in synaptic inputs, changes in hormone levels, etc, can alter the behavior of these neurons so that you can change the shape of, and the height of an action potential, and when this happens at a synaptic terminal this can change the strength of neurotransmitter release. Neurons that are silent could be induced to fire repetitively or go into bursts, and moreover, neurons that respond to a particular way to maintain synaptic input can, in response to changes in environment or synaptic or hormonal stimulation, alter the way that they respond. The main reason for these many different types of
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Regulation of neuron accuracy by modulation of potassium channels

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