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Both Barium and Calcium Activate Neuronal Potassium Currents
Angeles B. Ribera and Nicholas C. Spitzer
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Vol. 84, No. 18 (Sep. 15, 1987), pp. 6577-6581
Published by: National Academy of Sciences
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/29883
Page Count: 5
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Amphibian spinal neurons in culture possess both rapidly inactivating and sustained calcium-dependent potassium current components, similar to those described for other cells. Divalent cation-dependent whole-cell outward currents were isolated by subtracting the voltage-dependent potassium currents recorded from Xenopus laevis neurons in the presence of impermeant cadmium (100-500 μ M) from the currents produced without cadmium but in the presence of permeant divalent cations (50-100 μ M). These concentrations of permeant ions were low enough to avoid contamination by macroscopic inward currents through calcium channels. Calcium-dependent potassium currents were reduced by 1 μ M tetraethylammonium. These currents can also be activated by barium or strontium. Barium as well as calcium activated outward currents in young neurons (6-8 hr) and in relatively mature neurons (19-26 hr in vitro). However, barium influx appeared to suppress the sustained voltage-dependent potassium current in most cells. Barium also activated at least one class of potassium channels observed in excised membrane patches, while blocking others. The blocking action may have masked and hindered detection of the stimulatory action of barium in other systems.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America © 1987 National Academy of Sciences