(1/4923) Molecular dynamics of the sodium channel pore vary with gating: interactions between P-segment motions and inactivation.

Disulfide trapping studies have revealed that the pore-lining (P) segments of voltage-dependent sodium channels undergo sizable motions on a subsecond time scale. Such motions of the pore may be necessary for selective ion translocation. Although traditionally viewed as separable properties, gating and permeation are now known to interact extensively in various classes of channels. We have investigated the interaction of pore motions and voltage-dependent gating in micro1 sodium channels engineered to contain two cysteines within the P segments. Rates of catalyzed internal disulfide formation (kSS) were measured in K1237C+W1531C mutant channels expressed in oocytes. During repetitive voltage-clamp depolarizations, increasing the pulse duration had biphasic effects on the kSS, which first increased to a maximum at 200 msec and then decreased with longer depolarizations. This result suggested that occupancy of an intermediate inactivation state (IM) facilitates pore motions. Consistent with the known antagonism between alkali metals and a component of slow inactivation, kSS varied inversely with external [Na+]o. We examined the converse relationship, namely the effect of pore flexibility on gating, by measuring recovery from inactivation in Y401C+E758C (YC/EC) channels. Under oxidative conditions, recovery from inactivation was slower than in a reduced environment in which the spontaneous YC/EC cross-link is disrupted. The most prominent effects were slowing of a component with intermediate recovery kinetics, with diminution of its relative amplitude. We conclude that occupancy of an intermediate inactivation state facilitates motions of the P segments; conversely, flexibility of the P segments alters an intermediate component of inactivation.  (+info)

(2/4923) Somatic recording of GABAergic autoreceptor current in cerebellar stellate and basket cells.

Patch-clamp recordings were performed from stellate and basket cells in rat cerebellar slices. Under somatic voltage clamp, short depolarizing pulses were applied to elicit action potentials in the axon. After the action potential, a bicuculline- and Cd2+-sensitive current transient was observed. A similar response was obtained when eliciting axonal firing by extracellular stimulation. With an isotonic internal Cl- solution, the peak amplitude of this current varied linearly with the holding potential, yielding an extrapolated reversal potential of -20 to 0 mV. Unlike synaptic or autaptic GABAergic currents obtained in the same preparation, the current transient had a slow rise-time and a low variability between trials. This current was blocked when 10 mM BAPTA was included in the recording solution. In some experiments, the current transient elicited axonal action potentials. The current transient was reliably observed in animals aged 12-15 d, with a mean amplitude of 82 pA at -70 mV, but was small and rare in the age group 29-49 d. Numerical simulations could account for all properties of the current transient by assuming that an action potential activates a distributed GABAergic conductance in the axon. The actual conductance is probably restricted to release sites, with an estimated mean presynaptic current response of 10 pA per site (-70 mV, age 12-15 d). We conclude that in developing rats, stellate and basket cell axons have a high density of GABAergic autoreceptors and that a sizable fraction of the corresponding current can be measured from the soma.  (+info)

(3/4923) Transport of solutes through cartilage: permeability to large molecules.

A review of the transport of solutes through articular cartilage is given, with special reference to the effect of variations in matrix composition. Some physiological implications of our findings are discussed. Also, results of an experimental study of the permeability of articular cartilage to large globular proteins are presented. Because of the very low partition coefficients of large solutes between cartilage and an external solution new experimental techniques had to be devised, particularly for the study of diffusion. The partition coefficients of solutes were found to decrease very steeply with increase in size, up to serum albumin. There was, however, no further decrease for IGG. The diffusion coefficient of serum albumin in cartilage was relatively high (one quarter of the value in aqueous solution). These two facts taken together suggest that there may be a very small fraction of relatively large pores in cartilage through which the transport of large molecules is taking place. The permeability of cartilage to large molecules is extremely sensitive to variations in the glycosaminoglycan content: for a threefold increase in the latter there is a hundredfold decrease in the partition coefficient. For cartilage of fixed charge density around 0-19 m-equiv/g, there is no penetration at all of globular proteins of size equal to or larger than serum albumin.  (+info)

(4/4923) Ethanol exposure differentially alters central monoamine neurotransmission in alcohol-preferring versus -nonpreferring rats.

Individual differences in ethanol preference may be linked to differences in the functional activity of forebrain monoamine systems or their sensitivity to modification by ethanol. To test this hypothesis, basal extracellular concentrations of dopamine (DA) and serotonin (5-HT) in the nucleus accumbens as well as the effects of repeated ethanol pretreatment on the basal release of these transmitters were examined in alcohol-preferring (P), alcohol-nonpreferring (NP), and genetically heterogeneous Wistar rats. All animals received i.p. injections of ethanol (1.0 g/kg) or saline for 5 consecutive days. Fifteen hours after the final pretreatment, basal extracellular concentrations and "in vivo extraction fraction" values for DA and 5-HT were determined by no-net-flux in vivo microdialysis. In ethanol-naive rats, significant line differences were observed with high basal 5-HT release in P rats, low 5-HT release in NP rats, and intermediate 5-HT levels in Wistar rats. No differences among groups were noted in basal DA release. Ethanol pretreatment decreased basal extracellular 5-HT levels in P rats whereas increasing 5-HT efflux was seen in the Wistar and NP lines. In addition, ethanol pretreatment increased extracellular DA concentrations in Wistar and P rats, but not in NP rats. The results confirm a relationship between the functional status of forebrain DA and 5-HT systems and ethanol preference or aversion. Moreover, the data suggest that ethanol exposure can alter basal DA and 5-HT in the nucleus accumbens and that vulnerability to ethanol-induced changes in monoamine neurotransmission may be a factor in genetically determined ethanol preference.  (+info)

(5/4923) Simultaneous measurement of evoked release and [Ca2+]i in a crayfish release bouton reveals high affinity of release to Ca2+.

The opener neuromuscular junction of crayfish was used to determine the affinity of the putative Ca2+ receptor(s) responsible for evoked release. Evoked, asynchronous release, and steady-state intracellular Ca2+ concentration, [Ca2+]ss, were measured concomitantly in single release boutons. It was found that, as expected, asynchronous release is highly correlated with [Ca2+]ss. Surprisingly, evoked release was also found to be highly correlated with [Ca2+]ss. The quantal content (m) and the rate of asynchronous release (S) showed sigmoidal dependence on [Ca2+]ss. The slope log m/log [Ca2+]ss varied between 1.6 and 3.3; the higher slope observed at the lower [Ca2+]o. The slope log S/log [Ca2+]ss varied between 3 and 4 and was independent of [Ca2+]o. These results are consistent with the assumption that evoked release is controlled by the sum of [Ca2+]ss and the local elevation of Ca2+ concentration near the release sites resulting from Ca2+ influx through voltage-gated Ca2+ channels (Y). On the basis of the above, we were able to estimate Y. We found Y to be significantly <10 microM even for [Ca2+]o = 13.5 mM. The dissociation constant (Kd) of the Ca2+ receptor(s) associated with evoked release was calculated to be in the range of 4-5 microM. This value of Kd is similar to that found previously for asynchronous release.  (+info)

(6/4923) Synaptic activation of GABAA receptors induces neuronal uptake of Ca2+ in adult rat hippocampal slices.

Synaptically evoked transmembrane movements of Ca2+ in the adult CNS have almost exclusively been attributed to activation of glutamate receptor channels and the consequent triggering of voltage-gated calcium channels (VGCCs). Using microelectrodes for measuring free extracellular Ca2+ ([Ca2+]o) and extracellular space (ECS) volume, we show here for the first time that synaptic stimulation of gamma-aminobutyric acid-A (GABAA) receptors can result in a decrease in [Ca2+]o in adult rat hippocampal slices. High-frequency stimulation (100-200 Hz, 0.4-0.5 s) applied in stratum radiatum close (+info)

(7/4923) Long-term effects of growth hormone (GH) on body fluid distribution in GH deficient adults: a four months double blind placebo controlled trial.

OBJECTIVE: Short-term growth hormone (GH) treatment normalises body fluid distribution in adult GH deficient patients, but the impact of long-term treatment on body fluid homeostasis has hitherto not been thoroughly examined in placebo controlled trials. To investigate if the water retaining effect of GH persists for a longer time we examined the impact of 4 months GH treatment on extracellular volume (ECV) and plasma volume (PV) in GH deficient adults. DESIGN: Twenty-four (18 male, 6 female) adult GH deficient patients aged 25-64 years were included and received either GH (n=11) or placebo (n=13) in a double blind parallel design. METHODS: Before and at the end of each 4 month period ECV and PV were assessed directly using 82Br- and 125I-albumin respectively, and blood samples were obtained. RESULTS: During GH treatment ECV increased significantly (before: 20.48+/-0.99 l, 4 months: 23.77+/-1.38 l (P<0.01)), but remained unchanged during placebo administration (before: 16.92+/-1.01 l, 4 months: 17.60+/-1.24 l (P=0.37)). The difference between the groups was significant (P<0.05). GH treatment also increased PV (before: 3.39+/-0.27 l. 4 months: 3.71+/-0.261 (P=0.01)), although an insignificant increase in the placebo treated patients (before: 2.81+/-0.18 l, 4 months: 2.89+/-0.20 l (P=0.37)) resulted in an insignificant treatment effect (P=0.07). Serum insulin-like growth factor-I increased significantly during GH treatment and was not affected by placebo treatment. Plasma renin (mIU/l) increased during GH administration (before: 14.73+/-2.16, 4 months: 26.00+/-6.22 (P=0.03)) and remained unchanged following placebo (before: 20.77+/-5.13, 4 months: 20.69+/-6.67 (P=0.99)) leaving no significant treatment effect (P=0.08). CONCLUSION: The long-term impact of GH treatment on body fluid distribution in adult GH deficient patients involves expansion of ECV and probably also PV. These data substantiate the role of GH as a regulator of fluid homeostasis in adult GH deficiency.  (+info)

(8/4923) Modulation of slow inactivation in human cardiac Kv1.5 channels by extra- and intracellular permeant cations.

1. The properties and regulation of slow inactivation by intracellular and extracellular cations in the human heart K+ channel hKv1.5 have been investigated. Extensive NH2- and COOH-terminal deletions outside the central core of transmembrane domains did not affect the degree of inactivation. 2. The voltage dependence of steady-state inactivation curves of hKv1.5 channels was unchanged in Rb+ and Cs+, compared with K+, but biexponential inactivation over 10 s was reduced from approximately 100 % of peak current in Na+ to approximately 65 % in K+, approximately 50 % in Rb+ and approximately 30 % in Cs+. This occurred as a result of a decrease in both fast and slow components of inactivation, with little change in inactivation time constants. 3. Changes in extracellular cation species and concentration (5-300 mM) had only small effects on the rates of inactivation and recovery from inactivation (tau recovery approximately 1 s). Mutation of residues at a putative regulatory site at R487 in the outer pore mouth did not affect slow inactivation or recovery from inactivation of hKv1.5, although sensitivity to extracellular TEA was conferred. 4. Symmetrical reduction of both intra- and extracellular cation concentrations accelerated and augmented both components of inactivation of K+ (Kd = 34.7 mM) and Cs+ (Kd = 20.5 mM) currents. These effects could be quantitatively accounted for by unilateral reduction of intracellular K+ (K+i) (Kd = 43.4 mM) or Cs+i with constant 135 mM external ion concentrations. 5. We conclude that inactivation and recovery from inactivation in hKv1.5 were not typically C-type in nature. However, the ion species dependence of inactivation was still closely coupled to ion permeation through the pore. Intracellular ion modulatory actions were more potent than extracellular actions, although still of relatively low affinity. These results suggest the presence of ion binding sites capable of regulating inactivation located on both intracellular and extracellular sides of the pore selectivity filter.  (+info)