Excitatory and inhibitory hippocampal neurons differ in their homeostatic adaptation to chronic M-channel modulation

Lior Bar, Lia Shalom, Jonathan Lezmy, Asher Peretz, Bernard Attali*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A large body of studies has investigated bidirectional homeostatic plasticity both in vitro and in vivo using numerous pharmacological manipulations of activity or behavioral paradigms. However, these experiments rarely explored in the same cellular system the bidirectionality of the plasticity and simultaneously on excitatory and inhibitory neurons. M-channels are voltage-gated potassium channels that play a crucial role in regulating neuronal excitability and plasticity. In cultured hippocampal excitatory neurons, we previously showed that chronic exposure to the M-channel blocker XE991 leads to adaptative compensations, thereby triggering at different timescales intrinsic and synaptic homeostatic plasticity. This plastic adaptation barely occurs in hippocampal inhibitory neurons. In this study, we examined whether this homeostatic plasticity induced by M-channel inhibition was bidirectional by investigating the acute and chronic effects of the M-channel opener retigabine on hippocampal neuronal excitability. Acute retigabine exposure decreased excitability in both excitatory and inhibitory neurons. Chronic retigabine treatment triggered in excitatory neurons homeostatic adaptation of the threshold current and spontaneous firing rate at a time scale of 4–24 h. These plastic changes were accompanied by a substantial decrease in the M-current density and by a small, though significant, proximal relocation of Kv7.3-FGF14 segment along the axon initial segment. Thus, bidirectional homeostatic changes were observed in excitatory neurons though not symmetric in kinetics and mechanisms. Contrastingly, in inhibitory neurons, the compensatory changes in intrinsic excitability barely occurred after 48 h, while no homeostatic normalization of the spontaneous firing rate was observed. Our results indicate that excitatory and inhibitory hippocampal neurons differ in their adaptation to chronic alterations in neuronal excitability induced by M-channel bidirectional modulation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number972023
JournalFrontiers in Molecular Neuroscience
StatePublished - 14 Oct 2022


  • M-channels
  • axon initial segment
  • homeostatic plasticity
  • potassium channel
  • synaptic plasticity


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