European Biophysics Journal

, Volume 47, Issue 5, pp 539–547 | Cite as

Reduced cooperativity of voltage-gated sodium channels in the hippocampal interneurons of an aged mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease

Original Article


Beta amyloid (A\(\beta\) ) associated with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) leads to abnormal behavior in inhibitory neurons, resulting in hyperactive neuronal networks, epileptiform behavior, disrupted gamma rhythms, and aberrant synaptic plasticity. Previously, we used a dual modeling-experimental approach to explain several observations, including failure to reliably produce action potentials (APs), smaller AP amplitudes, higher resting membrane potential, and higher membrane depolarization in response to a range of stimuli in hippocampal inhibitory neurons from 12- to 16-month-old female AP Pswe/PSEN1DeltaE9 (APdE9) AD mice as compared to age-matched non-transgenic (NTG) mice. Our experimental results also showed that AP initiation in interneurons from APdE9 mice are significantly different from that of NTG mice. APs in interneurons from NTG mice are characterized by abrupt onset and an upstroke that is much steeper and occurs with larger variability as compared to cells from APdE9 mice. The phase plot (the rate of change of membrane potential versus the instantaneous membrane potential) of APs produced by interneurons from APdE9 mice shows a biphasic behavior, whereas that from NTG mice shows a monophasic behavior. Here we show that using the classic Hodgkin–Huxley (HH) formalism for the gating of voltage-gated sodium channels (VGSCs) in a single-compartment neuron, we cannot reproduce these features, and a model that takes into account a cooperative activation of VGSCs is needed. We also argue that considering a realistic multi-compartment neuron where the kinetics of VGSC is modeled by HH formalism, as done in the past, would not explain our observations when APs from both NTG and APdE9 mice are considered simultaneously. We further show that VGSCs in interneurons from APdE9 mice exhibit significantly lower cooperativity in their activation as compared to those from NTG mice.


Beta amyloid Alzheimer’s disease Interneurons Cooperative gating of Na\(^+\) channels Channelopathy 



This work was supported by the National Institute of Health on Aging, Grant Number R01AG053988 and by a startup grant from College of Arts and Sciences at University of Florida awarded to GU.


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Copyright information

© European Biophysical Societies' Association 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Physics, ISA 2019University of South FloridaTampaUSA

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