Ion channels and their neural functions have often been studied in the brains of mammals. However, the brains of some teleost fish species have special features that, at first glance, appear to be atypical and peculiar to that species alone. These teleost fish will contribute considerably to the understanding of general features of the ion channels and their neural functions. We have been interested in the neural mechanisms underlying the adaptive and flexible response of animals to changing environments and have been studying gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) peptidergic neuron systems, which we think are central for controlling such biologically adaptive responses. We have also been interested in a pretectal nucleus, corpus glomerulosum, which is tentatively regarded to play important roles in the organization of visually-guided feeding behaviors. In both systems, we found that certain types of apparently ‘non-typical’ Na+ channels play important roles in neurobiological functions. Here we discuss how the study of functions of these apparently non-typical ion channels might contribute to our understanding of neural functions of vertebrate brains in general.

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