1. Effects of nictitating membrane conditioning on K+ currents of CA1 pyramidal cells of rabbit hippocampus were studied by the use of the single-electrode voltage-clamp (SEVC) technique. 2. IQ, IM, IC, and IAHP were recorded in slices from control animals, showing behavior similar to that previously described for other preparations. IQ developed as an inward current during hyperpolarizing steps to potentials more negative than the K+ equilibrium potential. IM appeared as an inward inactivating relaxation during hyperpolarizing pulses, from potentials slightly more positive than the resting potential (approximately -40 mV). Such depolarization is thought to activate the IM, IC was recorded during long depolarizing pulses as a slow outward current. IAHP appeared during short depolarizing pulses as an outward current peaking at approximately 200 ms after the pulse. Progressively more positive pulses were accompanied by a linear increase of the peak IAHP value. The slope of the IAHP-voltage relation was used for comparison of cells between groups of animals that had different training experience. 3. Responses of control cells to cholinergic agents were similar to those previously characterized in other preparations. Specifically, cholinergic agonists blocked IM and IAHP, partially reduced IC, and did not affect IQ. 4. Conditioning did not affect IQ, IM, and IC but reduced the slope values of the IAHP-voltage relation. This change is consistent with the conditioning-specific afterhyperpolarization (AHP) reduction previously reported. 5. The effect of conditioning on the IAHP but not on the IC, both Ca(2+)-dependent K+ currents, suggests a direct effect on the former, rather than a reduction of ICa2+ or a change in the levels of Cai2+.
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