Two types of acid-sensing ion channel currents in rat hippocampal neurons

Xie-Chuan Weng, Jian-Quan Zheng, Xiao-Dan Gai, Jin Li, Wen-Bin Xiao
Neuroscience Research 2004, 50 (4): 493-9
Two types of acid-sensing ion channel (ASIC)-like currents in cultured rat hippocampal neurons were recorded and their characteristics were studied by using a whole-cell recording technique. The results revealed that the ASIC-like currents, induced by a quick drop of the extracellular pH, decayed with different time constants (tau) of 229 +/- 16 (Type I) and 1209 +/- 56 ms (Type II). The ASIC-like currents displayed different sensitivities to extracellular proton (pH0.5 was 6.17 +/- 0.04 for Type I and 5.70 +/- 0.07 for Type II) and amiloride, a specific ASIC channel blocker (IC50 was 1.19 +/- 0.37 microM for Type I and 0.14 +/- 0.02 microM for Type II). Among all the 360 recorded neurons, ASIC-like currents were induced in 314 neurons (87.2%). In the neurons expressing ASICs, Type I currents were evoked from 269 neurons (85.7%) and Type II currents were induced only from 45 neurons (14.3%). As these ASIC-like currents presented various electrophysiological and pharmacological properties, further experiments should be conducted to decipher the complex subunit composition of ASICs in the hippocampus.

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