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The physiological activity of dopaminergic midbrain (DA) neurons is important for movement, cognition, and reward. Altered activity of DA neurons is a key finding in schizophrenia, but the cellular mechanisms have not been identified. Recently, KCNN3, a gene that encodes a member (SK3) of the small-conductance, calcium-activated potassium (SK) channels, has(More)
The mesocorticolimbic dopamine system is essential for cognitive and emotive brain functions and is thus an important target in major brain diseases like schizophrenia, drug addiction, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. However, the cellular basis for the diversity in behavioral functions and associated dopamine-release pattern within the(More)
Midbrain dopamine (DA) neurons are not homogeneous but differ in their molecular properties and responses to external stimuli. We examined whether the modulation of excitatory synapses on DA neurons by rewarding or aversive stimuli depends on the brain area to which these DA neurons project. We identified DA neuron subpopulations in slices after injection(More)
Dopaminergic (DA) midbrain neurons in the substantia nigra (SN) and ventral tegmental area (VTA) are involved in various brain functions such as voluntary movement and reward and are targets in disorders such as Parkinson's disease and schizophrenia. To study the functional properties of identified DA neurons in mouse midbrain slices, we combined(More)
The activity of dopaminergic (DA) substantia nigra (SN) neurons is essential for voluntary movement control. An intrinsic pacemaker in DA SN neurons generates their tonic spontaneous activity, which triggers dopamine release. We show here, by combining multiplex and quantitative real-time single-cell RT- PCR with slice patch-clamp electrophysiology, that an(More)
Dopaminergic midbrain (DA) neurons display two principal activity patterns in vivo, single-spike and burst firing, the latter coding for reward-related events. We have shown recently that the small-conductance calcium-activated potassium channel SK3 controls pacemaker frequency and precision in DA neurons of the substantia nigra (SN), and previous studies(More)
Neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson and Alzheimer disease cause motor and cognitive dysfunction and belong to a heterogeneous group of common and disabling disorders. Although the complex molecular pathophysiology of neurodegeneration is largely unknown, major advances have been achieved by elucidating the genetic defects underlying mendelian(More)
ATP-sensitive potassium (K-ATP) channels couple the metabolic state to cellular excitability in various tissues. Several isoforms of the K-ATP channel subunits, the sulfonylurea receptor (SUR) and inwardly rectifying K channel (Kir6.X), have been cloned, but the molecular composition and functional diversity of native neuronal K-ATP channels remain(More)
The selective degeneration of dopaminergic (DA) midbrain neurons in the substantia nigra (SN) is a hallmark of Parkinson disease. DA neurons in the neighboring ventral tegmental area (VTA) are significantly less affected. The mechanisms for this differential vulnerability of DA neurons are unknown. We identified selective activation of ATP-sensitive(More)
Hyperpolarization-activated, cyclic-nucleotide-gated (HCN) channels mediate the depolarizing cation current (termed I(h) or I(f)) that initiates spontaneous rhythmic activity in heart and brain. This function critically depends on the reliable opening of HCN channels in the subthreshold voltage-range. Here we show that activation of HCN channels at(More)