Calcium plays roles in excitability, rhythm generation, and neurosecretion. Identifying channel subtypes that regulate calcium influx is thus important to understanding rhythmic GnRH secretion, which is a prerequisite for reproduction. Whole-cell voltage-clamp recordings were made from short-term dissociated GnRH adult ovariectomized (OVX) mice (n = 21) to identify channel subtypes that carry calcium current using selective channel blockers and voltage characteristics. Low-voltage activated (LVA) currents were not observed in 42 GnRH neurons tested, although most non-GnRH neurons (4/6) displayed LVA current. The L-type component of the high-voltage activated (HVA) calcium current was 25% ± 2%. The remaining HVA calcium current passed through N-type (27% ± 3%), P-type (15% ± 1%), Q-type (18% ± 3%), and R-type (15% ± 1%) channels. Because these data differ substantially from reports on cultured GnRH neurons, which may represent reproductively immature models, we also examined GnRH neurons from gonadal-intact young (Postnatal Days 4–10, n = 8 mice) mice. LVA currents were still rare (2/28) in young mice. Although the same HVA components were observed, the proportions were shifted toward significantly more L-type and less N-type current, suggesting a possible developmental shift in calcium currents in GnRH neurons. These data suggest that calcium channel subtypes in GnRH neurons prepared in the short term from brain slices differ substantially from those in long-term cultured GnRH models. These findings provide a vital foundation to examine the role of calcium channels in the secretory and rhythmic machinery of GnRH neurons.
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