Two types of fast K+ channels in rat myelinated nerve fibres and their sensitivity to dendrotoxin

Pflugers Arch. 1991 May;418(4):408-16. doi: 10.1007/BF00550879.


The effect of dendrotoxin (DTX), a component of the venom of the Eastern green mamba snake, Dendroaspis angusticeps, on K+ currents in rat myelinated nerve fibres was studied in voltage clamp experiments, immunocytochemistry and binding experiments. The analysis of K+ tail currents in 160 mM KCl solution revealed that K+ channels with slow gating kinetics predominate in the intact node of Ranvier. These slow K+ channels were not blocked by DTX. Intact nerve fibres additionally showed fast K+ tail currents of small amplitude which could be blocked by DTX. After enzymatic demyelination with pronase, fast K+ currents of large amplitude appeared. Analysis of the non-monotonous voltage dependence of the fast K+ conductance and the partial pharmacological block by DTX suggest the presence of two subtypes of fast K+ channels in rat nerve fibres similar to the Kf1 and Kf2 channels previously described in the frog and toad node of Ranvier. The DTX concentration required for 50% inhibition (IC50) for the Kf1 component was 8 nM. The IC50 of the blocked Kf2 component was the same as that for Kf1, but the Kf2 component was only partially blocked (about 50%). In contrast to frog nerve, these two fast K+ channel subtypes are located predominantly in the paranodal region. Immunocytochemical staining experiments with DTX using the peroxidase-antiperoxidase technique confirmed the electrophysiological data. In intact nodes, either no staining or only slight staining in some fibres was found. After demyelination, extensive staining of paranodal and internodal regions occurred.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Elapid Venoms / pharmacology*
  • Electric Conductivity / drug effects
  • Electric Conductivity / physiology
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Myelin Sheath / drug effects
  • Myelin Sheath / physiology*
  • Nerve Fibers / drug effects
  • Nerve Fibers / physiology*
  • Potassium Channels / drug effects
  • Potassium Channels / physiology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains


  • Elapid Venoms
  • Potassium Channels
  • dendrotoxin