Inhibition of voltage-gated K+ channel gene expression by the neuropeptide thyrotropin-releasing hormone

Koichi Takimoto, Robert Gealy, Alla F Fomina, James Trimmer, Edwin S. Levitan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Many neurotransmitters regulate action potential activity in neuronal, endocrine, and cardiac cells by rapidly modulating the gating of K+ channels. Neurotransmitters might also produce prolonged effects on excitability by regulating the expression of K+ channel genes. Here we show that the neuropeptide thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) down-regulates Kv1.5 and Kv2.1 K+ channel mRNAs in clonal pituitary cells. The effect on Kv1.5 mRNA expression does not require protein synthesis and is due to decreased transcription. Immunoblots demonstrate that Kv1.5 and Kv2.1 immunoreactivities are significantly reduced by TRH within 12 hr. The change in channel protein expression is associated with a decrease in voltage-gated K+ currents. Thus, TRH enhances excitability by inhibiting K+ channel gene expression. Neuropeptide regulation of K+ channel gene expression may produce long-term changes in neuronal action potential activity and synaptic transmission.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)449-457
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number1 I
StatePublished - Jan 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • gene expression
  • GH cells
  • membrane excitability
  • neuropeptide
  • pituitary
  • voltage-gated K channel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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