Inhibition of the Akt/PKB Kinase Increases Nav1.6-Mediated Currents and Neuronal Excitability in CA1 Hippocampal Pyramidal Neurons

Mate Marosi, Miroslav Nenov, Jessica Di Re, Nolan M. Dvorak, Musaad Alshammari, Fernanda Laezza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


In neurons, changes in Akt activity have been detected in response to the stimulation of transmembrane receptors. However, the mechanisms that lead to changes in neuronal function upon Akt inhibition are still poorly understood. In the present study, we interrogate how Akt inhibition could affect the activity of the neuronal Nav channels with while impacting intrinsic excita-bility. To that end, we employed voltage-clamp electrophysiological recordings in heterologous cells expressing the Nav1.6 channel isoform and in hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons in the presence of triciribine, an inhibitor of Akt. We showed that in both systems, Akt inhibition resulted in a potentiation of peak transient Na+ current (INa) density. Akt inhibition correspondingly led to an increase in the action potential firing of the CA1 pyramidal neurons that was accompanied by a decrease in the action potential current threshold. Complementary confocal analysis in the CA1 pyramidal neurons showed that the inhibition of Akt is associated with the lengthening of Nav1.6 fluorescent intensity along the axonal initial segment (AIS), providing a mechanism for augmented neuronal excitability. Taken together, these findings provide evidence that Akt-mediated signal transduction might affect neuronal excitability in a Nav1.6-dependent manner.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1700
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 1 2022


  • Axon initial segment
  • Electrophysiology
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Neuronal excitability
  • Protein kinase B (PKB)/Akt
  • Voltage-gated sodium channels

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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