Expression of Shal potassium channel subunits in the adult and developing cochlear nucleus of the mouse

Janet L Fitzakerley, Kremena V. Star, John L. Rinn, Barbara J. Elmquist

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14 Scopus citations


The pattern of expression of potassium (K+) channel subunits is thought to contribute to the establishment of the unique discharge characteristics exhibited by cochlear nucleus (CN) neurons. This study describes the developmental distribution of mRNA for the three Shal channel subunits Kv4.1, Kv4.2 and Kv4.3 within the mouse CN, as assessed with in situ hybridization and RT-PCR techniques. Kv4.1 was not present in CN at any age. Kv4.2 mRNA was detectable as early as postnatal day 2 (P2) in all CN subdivisions, and continued to be constitutively expressed throughout development. Kv4.2 was abundantly expressed in a variety of CN cell types, including all of the major projection neuron classes (i.e., octopus, bushy, stellate, fusiform, and giant cells). In contrast, Kv4.3 was expressed at lower levels and by fewer cell types. Kv4.3-labeled cells were more prevalent in ventral subdivisions than in the dorsal CN. Kv4.3 expression was significantly delayed developmentally in comparison to Kv4.2, as it was detectable only after P14. Although the techniques employed in this study detect mRNA and not protein, it can be inferred from the differential distribution of Kv4 transcripts that CN neurons selectively regulate the expression of Shal K+ channels among individual neurons throughout development. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-45
Number of pages15
JournalHearing Research
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Sep 2000

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to thank Peter Aas for his assistance in the development of the double-labeling technique and Noelle Bach and Govinda Budrow for their technical support with the Kv4.3 experiments. These experiments were supported by NIDCD #DC03737-01 awarded to J.L.F. and University of Minnesota UROP awards to K.S. and J.R.


  • Auditory brainstem
  • Development
  • In situ hybridization
  • Ion channel
  • Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction
  • Transient K channel


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