Multiple Conductance Substates in Pharmacologically Untreated Na+ Channels Generating Persistent Openings in Rat Entorhinal Cortex Neurons

Multiple Conductance Substates in Pharmacologically Untreated Na+ Channels Generating Persistent... Na+-channel activity recorded in cell-attached patches from entorhinal cortex neurons in the absence of gating-modifying drugs was examined to determine the possible occurrence of substate openings. Brief sojourns to subconductance levels were occasionally observed within prolonged (“persistent”) burst openings. Subconductance occurrence and amplitude were determined following two distinct, complementary approaches: (1) direct visual inspection and (2) automated detection by application of a method that exploits the current variance of fixed-width tracing segments to sort amplitude estimations. The two approaches led to comparable results. At least six subconductance levels in addition to the full open state were revealed, with amplitudes that were approximately 20%, 30%, 40%, 50%, 60% and 75% that of full openings. The global probability of subconductance opening occurrence within a burst as well as the probability of observing one particular subconductance level within a burst showed no clear dependence upon membrane potential in the −40 to +10 mV range. Open- and closed-time distributions of substate openings could either be similar to those observed in burst full openings or show distinct patterns. Low-amplitude late openings were also observed in isolation, separately from full-size openings. These openings corresponded to conductance levels very similar to those of the substates observed within full-size burst openings; therefore, they were interpreted as isolated subconductance openings. Early, transient openings responsible for the fast-inactivating whole-cell Na+-current component also manifested distinct conductance levels, the two most prominent of which were in an approximate 75:100 amplitude ratio. Interestingly, the 75% conductance level observed among early openings occurred much more frequently than in “persistent” burst openings. We conclude that pharmacologically untreated Na+ channels from native neurons generate substate openings that may influence differently the multiple gating modes displayed by these channels. The Journal of Membrane Biology Springer Journals

Multiple Conductance Substates in Pharmacologically Untreated Na+ Channels Generating Persistent Openings in Rat Entorhinal Cortex Neurons

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Copyright © 2007 by Springer Science+Business Media, LLC
Life Sciences; Biochemistry, general; Human Physiology
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