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Anti-Kir4.1 antibody


Antibody ID


Target Antigen

Kir4.1 See NCBI gene rat, mouse, human

Proper Citation

(Alomone Labs Cat# APC-035, RRID:AB_2040120)


polyclonal antibody


Useful for Western Blot, Immunohistochemistry, Immunocytochemistry, Immunoprecipitation

Host Organism



Alomone Labs

Kir4.1-Dependent Astrocyte-Fast Motor Neuron Interactions Are Required for Peak Strength.

  • Kelley KW
  • Neuron
  • 2018 Apr 18

Literature context:


Diversified neurons are essential for sensorimotor function, but whether astrocytes become specialized to optimize circuit performance remains unclear. Large fast α-motor neurons (FαMNs) of spinal cord innervate fast-twitch muscles that generate peak strength. We report that ventral horn astrocytes express the inward-rectifying K+ channel Kir4.1 (a.k.a. Kcnj10) around MNs in a VGLUT1-dependent manner. Loss of astrocyte-encoded Kir4.1 selectively altered FαMN size and function and led to reduced peak strength. Overexpression of Kir4.1 in astrocytes was sufficient to increase MN size through activation of the PI3K/mTOR/pS6 pathway. Kir4.1 was downregulated cell autonomously in astrocytes derived from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients with SOD1 mutation. However, astrocyte Kir4.1 was dispensable for FαMN survival even in the mutant SOD1 background. These findings show that astrocyte Kir4.1 is essential for maintenance of peak strength and suggest that Kir4.1 downregulation might uncouple symptoms of muscle weakness from MN cell death in diseases like ALS.

Funding information:
  • FIC NIH HHS - K01 TW000001(United States)

Oligodendrocytes control potassium accumulation in white matter and seizure susceptibility.

  • Larson VA
  • Elife
  • 2018 Mar 29

Literature context:


The inwardly rectifying K+ channel Kir4.1 is broadly expressed by CNS glia and deficits in Kir4.1 lead to seizures and myelin vacuolization. However, the role of oligodendrocyte Kir4.1 channels in controlling myelination and K+ clearance in white matter has not been defined. Here, we show that selective deletion of Kir4.1 from oligodendrocyte progenitors (OPCs) or mature oligodendrocytes did not impair their development or disrupt the structure of myelin. However, mice lacking oligodendrocyte Kir4.1 channels exhibited profound functional impairments, including slower clearance of extracellular K+ and delayed recovery of axons from repetitive stimulation in white matter, as well as spontaneous seizures, a lower seizure threshold, and activity-dependent motor deficits. These results indicate that Kir4.1 channels in oligodendrocytes play an important role in extracellular K+ homeostasis in white matter, and that selective loss of this channel from oligodendrocytes is sufficient to impair K+ clearance and promote seizures.

Funding information:
  • National Institutes of Health - NS050274()
  • National Institutes of Health - NS051509()
  • National Institutes of Health - NS080153()
  • NCATS NIH HHS - UL1 TR000457(United States)

Inhibition of Inwardly Rectifying Potassium (Kir) 4.1 Channels Facilitates Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) Expression in Astrocytes.

  • Kinboshi M
  • Front Mol Neurosci
  • 2018 Jan 24

Literature context:


Inwardly rectifying potassium (Kir) 4.1 channels in astrocytes regulate neuronal excitability by mediating spatial potassium buffering. Although dysfunction of astrocytic Kir4.1 channels is implicated in the development of epileptic seizures, the functional mechanisms of Kir4.1 channels in modulating epileptogenesis remain unknown. We herein evaluated the effects of Kir4.1 inhibition (blockade and knockdown) on expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a key modulator of epileptogenesis, in the primary cultures of mouse astrocytes. For blockade of Kir4.1 channels, we tested several antidepressant agents which reportedly bound to and blocked Kir4.1 channels in a subunit-specific manner. Treatment of astrocytes with fluoxetine enhanced BDNF mRNA expression in a concentration-dependent manner and increased the BDNF protein level. Other antidepressants (e.g., sertraline and imipramine) also increased the expression of BDNF mRNA with relative potencies similar to those for inhibition of Kir4.1 channels. In addition, suppression of Kir4.1 expression by the transfection of small interfering RNA (siRNA) targeting Kir4.1 significantly increased the mRNA and protein levels of BDNF. The BDNF induction by Kir4.1 siRNA transfection was suppressed by the MEK1/2 inhibitor U0126, but not by the p38 MAPK inhibitor SB202190 or the JNK inhibitor SP600125. The present results demonstrated that inhibition of Kir4.1 channels facilitates BDNF expression in astrocytes primarily by activating the Ras/Raf/MEK/ERK pathway, which may be linked to the development of epilepsy and other neuropsychiatric disorders.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R56 NS021072(United States)

Neural Circuit-Specialized Astrocytes: Transcriptomic, Proteomic, Morphological, and Functional Evidence.

  • Chai H
  • Neuron
  • 2017 Aug 2

Literature context:


Astrocytes are ubiquitous in the brain and are widely held to be largely identical. However, this view has not been fully tested, and the possibility that astrocytes are neural circuit specialized remains largely unexplored. Here, we used multiple integrated approaches, including RNA sequencing (RNA-seq), mass spectrometry, electrophysiology, immunohistochemistry, serial block-face-scanning electron microscopy, morphological reconstructions, pharmacogenetics, and diffusible dye, calcium, and glutamate imaging, to directly compare adult striatal and hippocampal astrocytes under identical conditions. We found significant differences in electrophysiological properties, Ca2+ signaling, morphology, and astrocyte-synapse proximity between striatal and hippocampal astrocytes. Unbiased evaluation of actively translated RNA and proteomic data confirmed significant astrocyte diversity between hippocampal and striatal circuits. We thus report core astrocyte properties, reveal evidence for specialized astrocytes within neural circuits, and provide new, integrated database resources and approaches to explore astrocyte diversity and function throughout the adult brain. VIDEO ABSTRACT.

Hepatocyte Growth Factor-c-MET Signaling Mediates the Development of Nonsensory Structures of the Mammalian Cochlea and Hearing.

  • Shibata S
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2016 Aug 3

Literature context:


The stria vascularis is a nonsensory structure that is essential for auditory hair cell function by maintaining potassium concentration of the scala media. During mouse embryonic development, a subpopulation of neural crest cell-derived melanocytes migrates and incorporates into a subregion of the cochlear epithelium, forming the intermediate cell layer of the stria vascularis. The relation of this developmental process to stria vascularis function is currently unknown. In characterizing the molecular differentiation of developing peripheral auditory structures, we discovered that hepatocyte growth factor (Hgf) is expressed in the future stria vascularis of the cochlear epithelium. Its receptor tyrosine kinase, c-Met, is expressed in the cochlear epithelium and melanocyte-derived intermediate cells in the stria vascularis. Genetic dissection of HGF signaling via c-MET reveals that the incorporation of the melanocytes into the future stria vascularis of the cochlear duct requires c-MET signaling. In addition, inactivation of either the ligand or receptor developmentally resulted in a profound hearing loss at young adult stages. These results suggest a novel connection between HGF signaling and deafness via melanocyte deficiencies. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT: We found the roles of hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) signaling in stria vascularis development for the first time and that lack of HGF signaling in the inner ear leads to profound hearing loss in the mouse. Our findings reveal a novel mechanism that may underlie human deafness DFNB39 and DFNB97. Our findings reveal an additional example of context-dependent c-MET signaling diversity, required here for proper cellular invasion developmentally that is essential for specific aspects of auditory-related organogenesis.

Reactive astrogliosis causes the development of spontaneous seizures.

  • Robel S
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2015 Feb 25

Literature context:


Epilepsy is one of the most common chronic neurologic diseases, yet approximately one-third of affected patients do not respond to anticonvulsive drugs that target neurons or neuronal circuits. Reactive astrocytes are commonly found in putative epileptic foci and have been hypothesized to be disease contributors because they lose essential homeostatic capabilities. However, since brain pathology induces astrocytes to become reactive, it is difficult to distinguish whether astrogliosis is a cause or a consequence of epileptogenesis. We now present a mouse model of genetically induced, widespread chronic astrogliosis after conditional deletion of β1-integrin (Itgβ1). In these mice, astrogliosis occurs in the absence of other pathologies and without BBB breach or significant inflammation. Electroencephalography with simultaneous video recording revealed that these mice develop spontaneous seizures during the first six postnatal weeks of life and brain slices show neuronal hyperexcitability. This was not observed in mice with neuronal-targeted β1-integrin deletion, supporting the hypothesis that astrogliosis is sufficient to induce epileptic seizures. Whole-cell patch-clamp recordings from astrocytes further suggest that the heightened excitability was associated with impaired astrocytic glutamate uptake. Moreover, the relative expression of the cation-chloride cotransporters (CCC) NKCC1 (Slc12a2) and KCC2 (Slc12a5), which are responsible for establishing the neuronal Cl(-) gradient that governs GABAergic inhibition were altered and the NKCC1 inhibitor bumetanide eliminated seizures in a subgroup of mice. These data suggest that a shift in the relative expression of neuronal NKCC1 and KCC2, similar to that observed in immature neurons during development, may contribute to astrogliosis-associated seizures.