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The Yin and Yang of BK Channels in Epilepsy

[ Vol. 17 , Issue. 4 ]

Author(s):

Yudan Zhu, Shuzhang Zhang, Yijun Feng, Qian Xiao, Jiwei Cheng* and Jie Tao*   Pages 272 - 279 ( 8 )

Abstract:


Background & Objective: The large conductance calcium-activated potassium (BK) channel, extensively distributed in the central nervous system (CNS), is considered as a vital player in the pathogenesis of epilepsy, with evidence implicating derangement of K+ as well as regulating action potential shape and duration. However, unlike other channels implicated in epilepsy whose function in neurons could clearly be labeled “excitatory” or “inhibitory”, the unique physiological behavior of the BK channel allows it to both augment and decrease the excitability of neurons. Thus, the role of BK in epilepsy is controversial so far, and a growing area of intense investigation.

Conclusion: Here, this review aims to highlight recent discoveries on the dichotomous role of BK channels in epilepsy, focusing on relevant BK-dependent pro- as well as antiepileptic pathways, and discuss the potential of BK specific modulators for the treatment of epilepsy.

Keywords:

Action potential, auxiliary subunit, BK channel, epilepsy, specific modulator, large conductance.

Affiliation:

Central Laboratory, Department of Neurology, Putuo Hospital, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai, Laboratory of Neuropharmacology and Neurotoxicology, School of Life Science, Shanghai University, Shanghai, Laboratory of Neuropharmacology and Neurotoxicology, School of Life Science, Shanghai University, Shanghai, Central Laboratory, Department of Neurology, Putuo Hospital, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai, Central Laboratory, Department of Neurology, Putuo Hospital, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai, Central Laboratory, Department of Neurology, Putuo Hospital, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai

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