PubMed 18195482

Title: The modulatory effect of zinc ions on voltage-gated potassium currents in cultured rat hippocampal neurons is not related to Kv1.3 channels.

Authors: A Teisseyre, K Mercik, J W Mozrzymas

Journal, date & volume: J. Physiol. Pharmacol., 2007 Dec , 58, 699-715

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We applied the whole-cell patch-clamp technique to study the influence of zinc ions (Zn(2+)) and extracellular protons at acidic pH (pH(o)) on voltage-gated potassium currents in cultured rat hippocampal neurons. The first goal of the study was to estimate whether Kv1.3 currents significantly contributed to voltage-gated potassium currents in examined cells. Then, the influence of both ions on the activity of other voltage-gated potassium currents in the neurons was examined. We examined both the total current and the delayed - rectifier component. Results obtained in both cases were not significantly different from each other. Available data argued against any significant contribution of Kv1.3 currents to the recorded currents. Nevertheless, application of Zn(2+) in the concentration range from 100 microM to 5 mM reversibly modulated the recorded currents. The activation midpoint was shifted by about 40 mV (total current) and 30 mV (delayed-rectifier current) towards positive membrane potentials and the activation kinetics were slowed significantly (2 - 3 fold) upon application of Zn(2+). The inactivation midpoint was also shifted towards positive membrane potentials, but less significantly (about 14 mV). The current amplitudes were reduced in a concentration-dependent manner to about 0.5 of the control value. The effects of Zn(2+) were saturated at the concentration of 1 mM. Raising extracellular proton concentration by lowering the pH(o) from 7.35 to 6.4 did not affect significantly the currents. Possible mechanisms underlying the observed phenomena and their possible physiological significance are discussed.