A diacylglycerol analogue reduces neuronal calcium currents independently of protein kinase C activation

Nature. 1989 Mar 23;338(6213):340-2. doi: 10.1038/338340a0.


Diacylglycerol analogues (for example 1,2-oleoylacetylglycerol, OAG) and phorbol esters are activators of protein kinase C, and have been widely used to study the function of this enzyme in both intact cells and cell-free preparations. Electrophysiological studies have shown that these activators can either depress or increase Ca2+ currents, or decrease K+ currents when applied outside the cell. It has been assumed that these effects are mediated by protein kinase C activation. Here we report that micromolar levels of OAG and phorbol esters depress Ca2+ currents in chick sensory neurons independently of their effect as activators of protein kinase C. The depression of the Ca2+ current is rapid and is unaffected by intracellular application of the protein kinase C inhibitors staurosporin, sphingosine and H-7. Furthermore, the activators were ineffective when applied intracellularly, indicating that their site of action is on the outside of the membrane.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / drug effects
  • Animals
  • Calcium / metabolism*
  • Chick Embryo
  • Diglycerides / analogs & derivatives*
  • Diglycerides / pharmacology
  • Ganglia, Spinal / metabolism
  • Glycerides / analogs & derivatives*
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Neurons / metabolism*
  • Phorbol Esters / pharmacology
  • Protein Kinase C / metabolism*


  • Diglycerides
  • Glycerides
  • Phorbol Esters
  • 1-oleoyl-2-acetylglycerol
  • Protein Kinase C
  • Calcium