Distinguishing surface effects of calcium ion from pore-occupancy effects in Na+ channels.
The effects of calcium ion on the Na+ activation gate were studied in squid giant axons. Saxitoxin (STX) was used to block ion entry into Na+ channels without hindering access to the membrane surface, making it possible to distinguish surface effects of calcium from pore-occupancy effects. In the presence of STX, gating kinetics were measured from gating current (Ig). The kinetic effects of external calcium concentration changes were small when STX was present. In the absence of STX, lowering the calcium concentration (from 100 to 10 mM) slowed the closing of Na+ channels (measured from INa tails) by more than a factor of 2. Surprisingly, the voltage sensitivity of closing kinetics changed with calcium concentration, and it was modified by STX. Voltage sensitivity apparently depends in part on the ability of calcium to enter and block the channels as voltage is driven negative. In external medium with no added calcium, INa tail current initially increases in amplitude severalfold with the relief of calcium block, then progressively slows and gets smaller, as calcium diffuses out of the layers investing the axon. INa tails seen just before the current disappears suggest that closing in the absence of channel block is very slow or does not occur. INa amplitude and kinetics are completely restored when calcium is returned. The results strongly suggest that calcium occupancy is a requirement for channel closing and that nonoccupied channels fold reversibly into a nonfunctional conformation. (+info)
Effects of specific modifications of several hydroxyls of tetrodotoxin on its affinity to rat brain membrane.
The widely used sodium channel blocker tetrodotoxin (TTX) is a compound that has six hydroxyl residues at the C-4, C-6, C-8, C-9, C-10, and C-11 positions in addition to a guanidinium group, which is positively charged in biological pH range. Thirteen analogs of this toxin with structural modifications involving one or more of these hydroxyls were examined on their affinity to a rat brain membrane preparation, which is known to contain sodium channels abundantly. The equilibrium dissociation constants associated with the binding of TTX and its analogs to the sodium channels were estimated, from their ability to inhibit the binding of [3H]saxitoxin, as follows (in nM): TTX, 1.8; chiriquitoxin, 1.0; 11-oxoTTX, 1.5; 11-norTTX-6,6-diol, 1.6; 11-norTTX-6(S)-ol, 23; 11-norTTX-6(R)-ol, 31; 11-deoxyTTX, 37; 6-epiTTX, 39; 4-epiTTX, 68; 4,9-anhydroTTX, 180; TTX-8-O-hemisuccinate, >380; TTX-11-carboxylic acid, >2300; tetrodonic acid, >3600; 5,6,11-trideoxyTTX, >5000. The reduction of the affinity observed with the analogs involving reduction or translocation of the hydroxyls at C-6 and C-11 is indicative of the contribution of these residues to the binding to sodium channels as hydrogen bond donors. The especially large value of the dissociation constant for TTX-11-carboxylic acid is consistent with the idea that the C-11-hydroxyl forms a hydrogen bond with a carboxylic acid residue of the channel protein. The markedly low affinity of TTX-8-O-hemisuccinate may possibly be ascribable to intramolecular salt-bridge formation, which neutralizes the positive charge of the guanidinium group. (+info)
Anti-ganglioside antibodies can bind peripheral nerve nodes of Ranvier and activate the complement cascade without inducing acute conduction block in vitro.
The neurophysiological effects of nine neuropathy-associated human anti-ganglioside antisera, three monoclonal antibodies to ganglioside GM1 (GM1) and of the cholera toxin B subunit (a GM1 ligand) were studied on mouse sciatic nerve in vitro. GM1 antisera and monoclonal antibodies from patients with chronic motor neuropathies and Guillain-Barre syndrome, and GQ1b/ disialosyl antisera and monoclonal antibodies from patients with chronic ataxic neuropathies and Miller Fisher syndrome were studied. In vitro recording, for up to 6 h, of compound nerve action potentials, latencies, rise times and stimulus thresholds from isolated desheathed sciatic nerve was performed in the presence of antiganglioside antibodies and fresh human serum as an additional source of complement. No changes were observed over this time course, with 4-6 h values for all electrophysiological parameters being within 15% of the starting values for both normal and antibody containing sera and for the cholera toxin B subunit. Parallel experiments on identically prepared desheathed nerves performed with 0.5 nM saxitoxin led to complete conduction block within 10 min of application. Under identical conditions to those used for electrophysiological recordings, quantitative immunohistological evaluation revealed a significant increase in IgM (immunoglobulin M) deposition at nodes of Ranvier from 5.3+/-3.1% to 28.7+/-8.4% (mean+/-SEM) of desheathed nerves exposed to three normal and three antibody containing sera, respectively (P < 0.03). Complement activation was seen at 100% of normal and 79% of disease-associated IgM positive nodes of Ranvier. These data indicate that anti-ganglioside antibodies can diffuse into a desheathed nerve, bind to nodes of Ranvier and fix complement in vitro without resulting in any overt physiological deterioration of the nerve over 4-6 h. This suggests that the node of Ranvier is relatively resistant to acute antiganglioside antibody mediated injury over this time scale and that anti-ganglioside antibodies and the cholera toxin B subunit are unlikely to have major direct pharmacological effects on nodal function, at least in comparison with the effect of saxitoxin. This in vitro sciatic nerve model appears of limited use for analysing electrophysiologically the effects of anti-ganglioside antibodies on nerve function, possibly because its short-term viability and isolation from circulating systemic factors do not permit the evolution of an inflammatory lesion of sufficient magnitude to induce overt electrophysiological abnormalities. In vivo models may be more suitable for identifying the effects of these antibodies on nerve conduction. (+info)
Pharmacologic characterization of the Na+ ionophores in L6 myotubes.
We present a pharmacologic characterization of the Na+ ionophores present in L6 myotubes in vitro. Action potentials are abolished by replacement of the external Na+ by Tris. The amplitude of the action potential is generally resistant to high concentrations of tetrodotoxin (10(-5) M) and saxitoxin (10(-6 M), but the effect of these agents is highly variable. Veratridine (10(-4 M) consistently induces, as a short-term effect, a marked prolongation of the falling phase of the action potential. As a long-term effect, veratridine consistently induces a Na+-dependent reduction in the resting potential of the cell. The effects of veratridine on the action potential are not antagonized by tetrodotoxin or saxitoxin. However, the effects of veratridine on the resting potential are strongly antagonized by tetrodotoxin (10(-5) M) and fully inhibited by saxitoxin (10(-6) M). Significantly, under conditions where saxitoxin has fully inhibited the effects of veratridine on the resting potential, the myotubes are capable of generating overshooting action potentials. In contrast to their sensitivity to veratridine, L6 myotubes are insensitive to 10(-5) M alpha-dihydro-grayanotoxin-II. These results are discussed in the contexts of developmental significance and current views about Na+ ionophores. (+info)
L-type calcium channel activity regulates sodium channel levels in rat pituitary GH3 cells.
1. The effects of chronic pharmacological modulation of L-type Ca2+ channel activity on the cell surface expression of Na+ channels were examined in GH3 cells. 2. Prolonged inhibition (4-5 days) of L-channels with nimodipine caused a 50-60 % decrease in the peak amplitude of whole-cell Na+ currents recorded with the patch-clamp technique. On the contrary, prolonged exposure to the L-channel agonist Bay K 8644 induced an approximately 2.5-fold increase in peak Na+ current. In both cases, there were only minor changes in cell capacitance and no significant changes in Na+ channel gating properties. 3. Measurements of the specific binding of radiolabelled saxitoxin to intact cells showed that nimodipine treatment reduced the number of cell surface Na+ channels, whereas treatment with Bay K 8664 produced the opposite effect. The dual regulation of Na+ channel abundance explained the mentioned changes in Na+ current amplitude. 4. Plasma membrane Na+ channels had a half-life of approximately 17 h both in control cells and in cells treated with Bay K 8644, as estimated from the rate of decay of peak Na+ current after inhibition of protein synthesis with cycloheximide. Actinomycin D, an inhibitor of gene transcription, and also cycloheximide, occluded the stimulatory effect of Bay K 8644 on Na+ current density when measured over a 24 h period. 5. These findings indicate that the entry of Ca2+ through L-type channels influences in a positive way the number of functional Na+ channels in GH3 cells, and suggest that Ca2+ influx stimulates either Na+ channel gene expression or the expression of a regulatory protein that promotes translocation of pre-assembled Na+ channels into the plasma membrane. (+info)
Modification of sodium channel gating in frog myelinated nerve fibres by Centruroides sculpturatus scorpion venom.
1. The effect of Centruroides sculpturatus scorpion venom on single frog myelinated nerve fibres was studied. Sodium currents through the nodal membrane were measured under voltage-clamp conditions before and after exposure to venom in Ringer solution 1-5 mug/ml. for 1-3 min. 2. Centruroides venom brings about repetitive firing and increased membrane potential noise. Spontaneous firing was also observed. Eventually the nodal membrane becomes inexcitable following venom treatment. 3. Under voltage clamp with a step depolarization of the membrane potential, activation and inactivation of sodium currents turns on, reaches a peak within about 25 msec, and then declines over several hundred milliseconds. As the amplitude and duration of the depolarizing pulse are increased, the size of the venom-induced current that follows also increases. 4. The venom-induced current turns on exponentially with a time constant near the value of the time constant for recovery from inactivation, tau-h, at the resting membrane potential. A depolarizing pulse inactivates this new current component, while a hyperpolarizing pulse leads to a larger venom-induced current immediately after the hyperpolarization. Its time course and membrane potential dependence indicate that the venom-induced current is modulated by the sodium inactivation process. 5. The membrane potential dependence of sodium activation in some channels is shifted by 40-50 mV in the hyperpolarizing direction. Depolarization increases the proportion of channels with shifted activation gating by first-older kinetics. Following a depolarizing pulse the activation parameter, m-3, remains elevated for hundreds of milliseconds, allowing channels to reopen as recovery from inactivation occurs. 6. A kinetic model with normal inactivation gating and shifted activation gating in some channels accounts for the observed voltage-clamp currents and for the repetitive firing evoked by Centruroides venom. In the model normal channels are converted to channels with shifted activation gating by a voltage dependent reaction. 7. The results suggest limits to possible coupling between sodium channel activation and inactivation. Transitions of the inactivation parameter, h, can occur normally in channels with a shifted membrane potential dependence for activation. (+info)
Neuronal death and perinatal lethality in voltage-gated sodium channel alpha(II)-deficient mice.
Neural activity is crucial for cell survival and fine patterning of neuronal connectivity during neurodevelopment. To investigate the role in vivo of sodium channels (NaCh) in these processes, we generated knockout mice deficient in brain NaChalpha(II). NaChalpha(II)(-/-) mice were morphologically and organogenically indistinguishable from their NaChalpha(+/-) littermates. Notwithstanding, NaChalpha(II)(-/-) mice died perinatally with severe hypoxia and massive neuronal apoptosis, notably in the brainstem. Sodium channel currents recorded from cultured neurons of NaChalpha(II)(-/-) mice were sharply attenuated. Death appears to arise from severe hypoxia consequent to the brainstem deficiency of NaChalpha(II). NaChalpha(II) expression is, therefore, redundant for embryonic development but essential for postnatal survival. (+info)
Betaxolol, a beta(1)-adrenoceptor antagonist, reduces Na(+) influx into cortical synaptosomes by direct interaction with Na(+) channels: comparison with other beta-adrenoceptor antagonists.
Betaxolol, a beta(1)-adrenoceptor antagonist used for the treatment of glaucoma, is known to be neuroprotective in paradigms of ischaemia/excitotoxicity. In this study, we examined whether betaxolol and other beta-adrenoceptor antagonists interact directly with neurotoxin binding to sites 1 and 2 of the voltage-sensitive sodium channel (Na(+) channel) in rat cerebrocortical synaptosomes. Betaxolol inhibited specific [(3)H]-batrachotoxinin-A 20-alpha-benzoate ([(3)H]-BTX-B) binding to neurotoxin site 2 in a concentration-dependent manner with an IC(50) value of 9.8 microM. Comparison of all the beta-adrenoceptor antagonists tested revealed a potency order of propranolol>betaxolol approximately levobetaxolol>levobunolol approximately carteolol>/=timolol>atenolol. None of the drugs caused a significant inhibition of [(3)H]-saxitoxin binding to neurotoxin receptor site 1, even at concentrations as high as 250 microM. Saturation experiments showed that betaxolol increased the K(D) of [(3)H]-BTX-B binding but had no effect on the B(max). The association kinetics of [(3)H]-BTX-B were unaffected by betaxolol, but the drug significantly accelerated the dissociation rate of the radioligand. These findings argue for a competitive, indirect, allosteric mode of inhibition of [(3)H]-BTX-B binding by betaxolol. Betaxolol inhibited veratridine-stimulated Na(+) influx in rat cortical synaptosomes with an IC(50) value of 28. 3 microM. Carteolol, levobunolol, timolol and atenolol were significantly less effective than betaxolol at reducing veratridine-evoked Na(+) influx. The ability of betaxolol to interact with neurotoxin site 2 of the Na(+) channel and inhibit Na(+) influx may have a role in its neuroprotective action in paradigms of excitotoxicity/ischaemia and in its therapeutic effect in glaucoma. (+info)