Gustafsson, B.; Galvan, Martin; Grafe, Peter; Wigström, H.
A transient outward current in a mammalian central neurone blocked by 4-aminopyridine.
In: Nature, Vol. 299: pp. 252-254
It is becoming increasingly clear that nerve cells in the mammalian central nervous system (CNS) have a very complex electroresponsiveness. They exhibit not only time- and voltage-dependent Na+ and K+ conductances, analogous to those in the squid giant axon1, but also a variety of other conductances that have a significant role in the control of cell excitability. Of the outward currents, there are, in addition to the delayed rectifier, the Ca2+-activated K+ current2,3 which underlies the long-lasting spike afterhyperpolarization, and the M current4, a non-inactivating K+ current evoked by membrane depolarization and blocked by muscarinic, cholinergic agonists. We demonstrate here the existence in a mammalian central neurone (hip-pocampal CA3 pyramidal cells) of yet another outward current, which is transient and may be carried by K+ ions. Further, the experiments show that this current is substantially reduced by the convulsant 4-aminopyridine (4-AP)5, resulting in a marked increase in cell excitability.