Voltage-sensitive K+ channels were studied in rat cerebellar Purkinje neurons in culture using the single-channel recording technique. Recordings in the cell-attached and outside-out configuration revealed multiple voltage-sensitive K+ channel types in patches from both the somatic and the dendritic regions. K+ channel types were present in all patches studied. The same channel types were observed in somatic and dendritic recordings. Channel types were identified by reversal potential, single-channel conductance, voltage sensitivity, and patterns of activity. In cell-attached patches recorded under physiological conditions, 3 channel types were identified. Mean single- channel conductances were 92, 57, and 12 pS. All 3 channel types were activated by membrane depolarization. Similar channel types were identified in inside-out and outside-out patches recorded under physiological conditions. Two additional channel types were identified in the outside-out patches, with mean single-channel conductances of 41 and 26 pS. In cell-attached recordings under symmetrical K+ conditions, 6 channel types were identified. Mean single-channel conductances were 222, 134, 39, 25, 14, and 15 pS. Channel types with mean conductances of 222, 134, and 39 pS required membrane depolarization for activation. A comparison of channel properties indicated that these channel types correlated with the 3 channel types observed in cell-attached patches under physiological conditions. The 3 smaller-conductance channel types (25, 14, and 15 pS) were active at potentials around rest or at hyperpolarized membrane potentials. Two K+ channel types (39 and 25 pS) were commonly associated with the late phase of extracellularly recorded spontaneous spike events, suggesting a functional role in the repolarizing phase of somatic and dendritic action potentials. These results demonstrate that voltage-sensitive K+ channels are a prominent component of both the somatic and the dendritic membrane of the cerebellar Purkinje neuron and support the view that multiple voltage- sensitive K+ channel types contribute to the membrane functions of both cellular regions in this CNS neuronal type.