A Possible Link Between HCN Channels and Depression

Chung Sub Kim, Daniel Johnston

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Growing evidence suggests a possible link between hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated nonselective cation (HCN) channels and depression. In a recent study published in Molecular Psychiatry, we first demonstrate that Ih (the membrane current mediated by HCN channels) and HCN1 protein expression were increased in dorsal, but not in ventral, CA1 region following chronic, but not acute stress. This upregulation of Ih was restricted to the perisomatic region of CA1 neurons and contributed to a reduction of neuronal excitability. A reduction of HCN1 protein expression in dorsal CA1 region before the onset of chronic unpredictable stress-induced depression was sufficient to provide resilient effects to chronic unpredictable stress. Furthermore, in vivo block of the sarcoplasmic/endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+-ATPase (SERCA) pumps, a manipulation known to increase intracellular calcium levels and upregulate Ih, produced anxiogenic-like behavior and an increase in Ih, similar to that observed in chronic unpredictable stress model of depression. Here, we share our view on (1) how the function and expression of HCN1 channels are changed in the brain in a subcellular region-specific manner during the development of depression and (2) how a reduction of HCN1 protein expression provides resilience to chronic stress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalChronic Stress
StatePublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • HCN1
  • I
  • chronic unpredictable stress
  • hippocampus
  • resilience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Clinical Psychology


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