Editors' ChoiceNeurobiology

Metabolism, Excitability, and Seizures

Science's STKE  29 May 2001:
Vol. 2001, Issue 84, pp. tw5
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2001.84.tw5

Potassium channels that are sensitive to adenosine triphosphate (ATP) couple the intracellular metabolic state to electrical activity at the plasma membrane. Yamada et al. show in a knockout study that these channels exert a protective effect in the brain during hypoxia. Mice lacking ATP-sensitive K+-channels were more sensitive to generalized seizures. In slice experiments, neurons from knockout animals in the substantia nigra pars reticulata, an important brain area for the control of seizures, began to depolarize upon a hypoxic challenge rather than to hyperpolarize as do the neurons from normal control animals.

K. Yamada, J. J. Ji, H. Yuan, T. Miki, S. Sato, N. Horimoto, T. Shimizu, S. Seino, N. Inagaki, Protective role of ATP-sensitive potassium channels in hypoxia-induced generalized seizure. Science 292, 1543-1546 (2001). [Abstract] [Full Text]