A new approach to differential peripheral nerve fiber block: Na+,K+-ATPase inhibition

Anesthesiology. 1983 Aug;59(2):127-31. doi: 10.1097/00000542-198308000-00011.


Differential block of peripheral nerve fibers was attempted in vitro by a new approach based on inhibiting the membrane pump with ouabain. Sequential concentration dependent extinction of the components of the compound action potential was obtained: C extinguished first, A delta next, A beta last. The sequence conforms to expectations based on axonal size. Because pain is mediated by C and A delta fibers, and block of these groups by ouabain was not reversed readily, further investigation of the practicability of the new approach seems warranted.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / drug effects
  • Animals
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Nerve Block / methods*
  • Nerve Fibers / drug effects*
  • Nerve Fibers, Myelinated / drug effects*
  • Neural Conduction / drug effects
  • Ouabain / pharmacology
  • Peripheral Nerves / drug effects*
  • Peripheral Nerves / enzymology
  • Rabbits
  • Sodium-Potassium-Exchanging ATPase / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Vagus Nerve / drug effects


  • Ouabain
  • Sodium-Potassium-Exchanging ATPase