Glutamate transporters regulate extrasynaptic NMDA receptor modulation of Kv2.1 potassium channels

Patrick J. Mulholland, Ezekiel P. Carpenter-Hyland, Matthew C. Hearing, Howard C. Becker, John J. Woodward, L. Judson Chandler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Delayed-rectifier Kv2.1 potassium channels regulate somatodendritic excitability during periods of repetitive, high-frequency activity. Recent evidence suggests that Kv2.1 channel modulation is linked to glutamatergic neurotransmission. Because NMDA-type glutamate receptors are critical regulators of synaptic plasticity, we investigated NMDA receptor modulation of Kv2.1 channels in rodent hippocampus and cortex. Bath application of NMDA potently unclustered and dephosphorylated Kv2.1 and produced a hyperpolarizing shift in voltage-dependent activation of voltage-sensitive potassium currents (I K). In contrast, driving synaptic activity in Mg2+-free media to hyperactivate synaptic NMDA receptors had no effect on Kv2.1 channels, and moderate pentylenetetrazole-induced seizure activity in adult mice did not dephosphorylate hippocampal Kv2.1 channels. Selective activation of extrasynaptic NMDA receptors unclustered and dephosphorylated Kv2.1 channels and produced a hyperpolarizing shift in neuronal IK. In addition, inhibition of glutamate uptake rapidly activated NMDA receptors and dephosphorylated Kv2.1 channels. These observations demonstrate that regulation of intrinsic neuronal activity by Kv2.1 is coupled to extrasynaptic but not synaptic NMDA receptors. These data support a novel mechanism for glutamate transporters in regulation of neuronal excitability and plasticity through extrasynaptic NMDA receptor modulation of Kv2.1 channels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8801-8809
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number35
StatePublished - Aug 27 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Astroglia
  • Extracellular
  • Extrasynaptic
  • Glutamate transporters
  • Kv2.1 channels
  • NMDA receptors


Dive into the research topics of 'Glutamate transporters regulate extrasynaptic NMDA receptor modulation of Kv2.1 potassium channels'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this