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Mala Shah

School of Pharmacy

Voltage-gated ion channels and neuronal excitability

Voltage-gated ion channels play a fundamental role in regulating neuronal excitability. The distribution and properties of these channels within subcellular neuronal compartments (axons, dendrites and soma) varies. We are interested in understanding how these ion channels contribute to regulating excitability within these individual compartments and how they may affect neuronal output (action potential initiation and synaptic release) under physiological conditions as well as pathophysiological states such as epilepsy. To study this, we utilise a variety of techniques including electrophysiological patch-clamp recording (soma, dendrites and synaptic terminals), multi-photon imaging and electroencephalographic (EEG) recordings. By using this multi-disciplinary approach we hope to develop a better understanding of the mechanism(s) by which these ion channels affect cellular and neural network activity.


(1) Axonal potassium channels and synaptic release

(2) HCN channel plasticity and cortical synaptic transmission

(3) Calcium channels, synaptic release and synaptic plasticity


Huang, Z., Lujan, R., Kadurin, I., Uebele, V. N., Renger, J. J., Dolphin, A. C. & Shah, M. M. (2011)
Presynaptic HCN1 channels regulate CaV3.2 activity and neurotransmission at select cortical synapses.
Nature Neuroscience, 14, 478-86

Huang, Z., Walker, M. C. & Shah, M. M. (2009)
Loss of dendritic HCN1 subunits enhances cortical excitability and epileptogenesis.
Journal of Neuroscience, 29, 10979-10988

Shah, M. M., Migliore, M., Ignacio, V., Cooper, E.C. & Brown, D. A. (2008)
Functional significance of axonal Kv7 channels in hippocampal pyramidal neurons,
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105, 7869-74.


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