Voltage-sensitive calcium channels (VSCC) mediate the entry of calcium ions into excitable cells and are also involved in a variety of calcium-dependent processes, including muscle contraction, hormone or neurotransmitter release, gene expression, cell motility, cell division and cell death. The isoform alpha-1g gives rise to T-type calcium currents. T-type calcium channels belong to the 'low-voltage activated (LVA)' group and are strongly blocked by nickel and mibefradil. A particularity of this type of channels is an opening at quite negative potentials and a voltage-dependent inactivation. T-type channels serve pacemaking functions in both central neurons and cardiac nodal cells and support calcium signaling in secretory cells and vascular smooth muscle. They may also be involved in the modulation of firing patterns of neurons which is important for information processing as well as in cell growth processes. alpha(1G) is most likely responsible for burst firing in thalamic relay cells. These neurons burst during various thalamocortical oscillations including absence seizures the modulation of the intrinsic firing pattern mediated by alpha(1G) T-type Ca(2+) channels plays a critical role in the genesis of absence seizures in the thalamocortical pathway._x000B_
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