Electrophysiological and Molecular Analysis of Kv7/KCNQ Potassium Channels in the Inferior Colliculus of Adult Guinea Pig
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Neurons located in the inferior colliculus (IC) are on the path which processes acoustic information converging from the peripheral auditory system and to be sent through ascending pathways to superior structures. Previous in vitro recordings from early stage animals suggest that voltage-gated K channels underlie distinct neuronal discharge patterns observed in the IC. In this study, using reverse transcriptase quantitative polymerase chain reaction, we show the presence of a voltage-gated K channel family (Kv7/KCNQ) in the central nucleus of the IC (ICc) of the adult guinea pig. Whole-cell recordings from neurons in the nucleus were also made in slices from mature animals, and the action of specific openers and blockers demonstrated on the firing patterns. Our results indicate that mRNA from all members of the Kv7 family of channels are expressed in the ICc, but at different levels, and provide evidence that these channels can modulate neuronal excitability in this nucleus.