Regenerating mammalian nerve fibres: changes in action potential waveform and firing characteristics following blockage of potassium conductance

Proc R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 1982 Dec 22;217(1206):77-87. doi: 10.1098/rspb.1982.0095.


Extracellular application of potassium channel blocking agents is known to increase the amplitude and duration of the compound action potential in non-myelinated and demyelinated axons, but not in mature mammalian myelinated fibres. In the present study we used intra-axonal and whole nerve recording techniques to study the effects of the potassium channel blocking agent 4-aminopyridine (4-AP) on regenerating rat nerve fibres. Our results indicate that early regenerating (premyelinated) axons show considerable broadening of the action potential after 4-AP application and late regenerating (myelinated) axons give rise to burst activity following a single stimulus after 4-AP application. 4-AP did not affect spike waveform or firing properties of normal mature sciatic nerve fibres. These results demonstrate the importance of potassium conductance in stabilizing firing properties of myelinated regenerating axons.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials
  • Aminopyridines / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Axons / physiology*
  • Ion Channels / drug effects
  • Male
  • Nerve Regeneration*
  • Neural Conduction
  • Potassium / physiology*
  • Rats


  • Aminopyridines
  • Ion Channels
  • Potassium