Presynaptic K+ channels: Electrifying regulators of synaptic terminal excitability

Paul D. Dodson, Ian D. Forsythe*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article (Academic Journal)peer-review

151 Citations (Scopus)


Potassium channels are crucial regulators of neuronal excitability, setting resting membrane potentials and firing thresholds, repolarizing action potentials and limiting excitability. Although most of our understanding of K+ channels is based on somatic recordings, there is good evidence that these channels are present in synaptic terminals. In recent years the improved access to presynaptic compartments afforded by direct recording techniques has indicated diverse roles for native K+ channels, from suppression of aberrant firing to action potential repolarization and activity-dependent modulation of synaptic activity. This article reviews the growing evidence for multiple roles and discrete localization of distinct K + channels at presynaptic terminals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)210-217
Number of pages8
JournalTrends in Neurosciences
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2004


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