Osmolarity modulates K+ channel function on rat hippocampal interneurons but not CA1 pyramidal neurons

Scott C. Baraban, Mark C. Bellingham, Albert J. Berger, Philip A Schwartzkroin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


1. Whole-cell and single-channel recording methods were used in conjunction with infrared video microscopy techniques to examine the properties of voltage-activated potassium channels in hippocampal neurons during the application of hyposmolar solutions to hippocampal slices from rats. 2. Hyposmolar external solutions (osmolarity reduced by 10% to 267 mosmol1-1) produced a significant potentiation of voltage-activated K+ current on lacunosum/moleculare (L/M)) hippocampal interneurons, but not on CA1. and subiculum pyramidal neurons. Hyper polarization-activated (I(H)) and leak currents were not altered during the application of hyposmolar solutions in all cell types. 3. Mean channel open time and the probability of channel opening were dramatically increased under hyposmolar recording conditions for outside-out patches from L/M interneurons; no changes were observed for patches from CA1. pyramidal neurons. Mean current amplitude and the threshold for channel activation were not affected by hyposmotic challenge. 4. Hyposmolar external solutions produced a significant reduction in the firing frequency of L/M interneurons recorded in current-clamp mode. Hyposmolar solutions had no effect on resting membrane potential, action potential amplitude or duration, and spike after-hyperpolarization amplitude. 5. These results indicate that selective modulation of interneuron ion channel activity may be a critical mechanism by which osmolarity can regulate excitability in the central nervous system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)679-689
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 1 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology


Dive into the research topics of 'Osmolarity modulates K<sup>+</sup> channel function on rat hippocampal interneurons but not CA1 pyramidal neurons'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this