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Grafe, Peter; Ballanyi, Klaus (1987): Cellular mechanisms of potassium homeostasis in the mammalian nervous system. In: Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology, Vol. 65, Nr. 5: S. 1038-1042




Double-barrelled ion-sensitive microelectrodes were used to measure changes in the intracellular activities of K+, Na+, and Cl- (aKi, aNai, aCli) in neurones of rat sympathetic ganglia and in glial cells of slices from guinea-pig olfactory cortex. In sympathetic neurones, carbachol and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) produced a reversible decrease of aKi. The decrease of aKi during carbachol was accompanied by a rise of aNai, whereas in the presence of GABA decreases of aKi and aCli were seen. The reuptake of K+ released during the action of carbachol was completely blocked by ouabain, whereas furosemide inhibited the aKi recovery after the action of GABA. In glial cells, in contrast to the observations in the sympathetic neurones, aKi and aCli increased, whereas aNai decreased when neuronal activity was enhanced by repetitive stimulation of the lateral olfactory tract. It was found that barium ions and ouabain strongly reduced the activity-related rise of intraglial aKi in slices of guinea-pig olfactory cortex. These data show that mammalian neurones as well as glial cells possess several K+ uptake mechanisms that contribute to potassium homeostasis. Ouabain, furosemide, and Ba2+ are useful pharmacological tools to separate these mechanisms.