Previous studies have reported that mature oligodendrocytes (OLGs) in vitro display various voltage-dependent K+ currents while in situ OLGs show only voltage-independent K+ currents. Given this discrepancy and the lack of information on myelinating OLG ion channel expression in situ, we characterized mature OLG currents in myelinating corpus callosum slices from 17 to 36-day old rats. OLGs were recorded in cell-attached and whole-cell patch-clamp configurations, displayed morphology typical of mature OLGs, and stained positive for myelin basic protein. OLGs displayed large voltage-independent currents that decayed during the voltage pulse and small voltage-activated outward currents. The latter were blocked by TEA, activated between ?40 and ?50 mV, and decayed slowly. The former were composed of large voltage-independent, time-dependent Ba2+ (1 mM)-sensitive currents, and voltage-dependent Cs+ (5 mM) and Ba2+ (100 mM)-sensitive currents that reversed near the K+ equilibrium potential and inactivated at hyperpolarized potentials, identifying them as inwardly rectifying K+ currents. Inwardly rectifying single-channel K+currents could be recorded in the cell-attached configuration. The estimated single-channel slope conductance was 30 pS. The steady-state open probability was voltage-dependent and declined from 0.9 to 0.5 between ?80 and ?150 mV. Overall, mature OLGs in situ possess time- and also voltage-dependent K+ currents, which may facilitate clearance of K+ released during axonal firing.
The Journal of Membrane Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 1, 2002
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