Interactions of aminopyridines with potassium channels of squid axon membranes

Biophys J. 1976 Jan;16(1):77-81. doi: 10.1016/S0006-3495(76)85663-9.


The effects of aminopyridines on ionic conductances of the squid giant axon membrane were examined using voltage clamp and internal perfusion techniques. 4-Aminopyridine (4-AP) reduced potassium currents, but had no effect upon transient sodium currents. The block of potassium channels by 4-AP was substantially less with (a) strong depolarization to positive membrane potentials, (b) increasing the duration of a given depolarizing step, and (c) increasing the frequency of step depolarizations. Experiments with high external potassium concentrations revealed that the effect of 4-AP was independent of the direction of potassium ion movement. Both 3- and 2-aminopyridine were indistinguishable from 4-AP except in potency. It is concluded that aminopyrimidines may be used as tools to block the potassium conductance in excitable membranes, but only within certain specific voltage and frequency limits.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Axons / drug effects
  • Axons / physiology*
  • Decapodiformes
  • Electric Conductivity
  • Perfusion
  • Potassium / physiology*
  • Pyridines / pharmacology*
  • Structure-Activity Relationship


  • Pyridines
  • Potassium