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Title: Presynaptic action potential modulation in a neurological channelopathy
Author: Vivekananda, Umesh Saravanan
ISNI:       0000 0004 7227 0691
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2017
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Channelopathies are disorders caused by inherited mutations of specific ion channels. Neurological channelopathies in particular offer a window into fundamental physiological functions such as action potential modulation, synaptic function and neurotransmitter release. One such channelopathy Episodic Ataxia type 1 (EA1), is caused by a mutation to the gene that encodes for the potassium channel subunit Kv1.1. This channel is predominantly found in presynaptic terminals and EA1 mutations have previously been shown to result in increased neuronal excitability and neurotransmitter release. A possible reason is that presynaptic action potential waveforms are affected in EA1. Thus far, direct electrophysiological recording of presynaptic terminals has been limited to large specialised synapses e.g. mossy fibre boutons, or axonal blebs, unnatural endings of transected axons. This is not representative of the vast majority of small synapses found in the forebrain. Using a novel technique termed Hopping Probe Ion Conductance Microscopy (HPICM) I have been able to directly record action potentials from micrometer sized boutons in hippocampal neuronal culture. I have shown that in a knockout model of Kv1.1 and in a knockin model of the V408A EA1 mutation, presynaptic action potentials are broader than in wild type; however action potentials are unaffected in the cell body. Finally in some central synapses neurotransmitter release has been shown to depend on not only action potentials received in the presynaptic terminal, but also on slow subthreshold membrane potential fluctuations from the soma, termed analogue digital signalling. Kv1 channels have been implicated in partly mediating this form of signalling. I have shown via dual recordings from the soma and small presynaptic boutons, that analogue-digital signalling occurs in wild type and knockout of Kv1.1, but is abolished in the V408A EA1 mutation. This implies that analogue-digital signalling may not depend on Kv1.1 in particular, rather a change in the stoichiometry of the Kv1 channel.
Supervisor: Kullmann, D. ; Volynski, K. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available