Potassium channel activators abolish excitotoxicity in cultured hippocampal pyramidal neurons

Neurosci Lett. 1990 Jul 31;115(2-3):195-200. doi: 10.1016/0304-3940(90)90454-h.


When hippocampal pyramidal neurons are grown in culture they develop excitatory synaptic contacts. If these cultures are perfused with Mg2(+)-free, glycine supplemented medium the neurons exhibit fluctuations in [Ca2+]i and associated cell death ('excitotoxicity'). These phenomena involve the activation of NMDA receptors. When cultures are treated with the K(+)-channel activators cromakalim and diazoxide both the [Ca2+]i fluctuations and the neuronal death are abolished. These effects are reversed by the sulfonylurea glyburide. It thus appears that K(+)-channel activators may be a novel therapeutic intervention in epilepsy and associated disorders.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / drug effects
  • Animals
  • Benzopyrans / pharmacology*
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cromakalim
  • Diazoxide / pharmacology*
  • Hippocampus / drug effects
  • Hippocampus / physiology*
  • Potassium Channels / drug effects
  • Potassium Channels / physiology*
  • Pyrroles / pharmacology*
  • Rats


  • Benzopyrans
  • Potassium Channels
  • Pyrroles
  • Cromakalim
  • Diazoxide