Sodium current properties of primary skeletal myocytes and cardiomyocytes derived from different mouse strains

Pflugers Arch. 2009 Mar;457(5):1023-33. doi: 10.1007/s00424-008-0570-x. Epub 2008 Aug 13.


The mouse has become the preferred animal for genetic manipulations. Because of the diverse genetic backgrounds of various mouse strains, these can manifest strikingly different characteristics. Here, we studied the functional properties of currents through voltage-gated sodium channels in primary cultures of skeletal myocytes and cardiomyocytes derived from the three commonly used mouse strains BL6, 129/Sv, and FVB, by using the whole-cell patch-clamp technique. We found strain-specific sodium current function in skeletal myocytes, which could partly be explained by differences in sodium channel isoform expression. In addition, we found significant effects of cell source (neonatal or adult animal-derived) and variation of the differentiation time period. In contrast to skeletal myocytes, sodium current function in cardiomyocytes was similar in all strains. Our findings are relevant for the design and proper interpretation of electrophysiological studies, which use excitable cells in primary culture as a model system.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aging
  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Female
  • Ion Channel Gating / physiology
  • Mice
  • Muscle Fibers, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Myocytes, Cardiac / physiology*
  • Patch-Clamp Techniques
  • Sodium Channels / physiology*
  • Species Specificity


  • Sodium Channels