Localization of L-type calcium channel CaV1.3 in cat lumbar spinal cord - with emphasis on motoneurons

Mengliang Zhang, Natalya Sukiasyan, Morten Møller, Ilya Bezprozvanny, Hua Zhang, Jacob Wienecke, Hans Hultborn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Voltage-dependent persistent inward currents (PICs) which underlie the plateau potentials are an important intrinsic property of spinal motoneurons. Electrophysiological experiments have indicated that a subtype of the low threshold L-type calcium channel, CaV1.3, mediates this current. In mouse and turtle lumbar spinal cord it has been shown that these channel proteins are mainly found on motoneuron dendrites. In the present study we have used immunohistochemistry to locate these channels in lumbar spinal neurons, especially motoneurons, of the cat. The results indicate that CaV1.3 immunoreactivity was unevenly distributed among the laminae of the spinal grey matter. The small neurons in superficial dorsal horn (laminae I-III) were sparsely and weakly labelled, while large neurons in ventral horn were frequently and densely labelled. Groups of motoneurons in lamina IX that were immunoreactive to choline acetyltransferase also co-expressed CaV1.3. The immmunoreactivity was mainly associated with neuronal somata and proximal dendrites. Double staining with antibodies against CaV1.3 and MAP2 (a dendritic marker) showed that some fine fibres, which may include distal dendrites, were also labelled. These results in the cat spinal cord show some differences from studies in mouse and turtle motoneurons where the immunoreactivity against this channel was mainly localized to the dendrites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)42-47
Number of pages6
JournalNeuroscience letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 16 2006


  • Immunohistochemistry
  • L-type calcium channel
  • Lumbar spinal cord
  • Motoneuron
  • Persistent inward currents
  • Plateau potential

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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