Tetrodotoxin: a brief history

Toshio Narahashi
Proceedings of the Japan Academy. Series B, Physical and Biological Sciences 2008, 84 (5): 147-54
Tetrodotoxin (TTX), contained in puffer, has become an extremely popular chemical tool in the physiological and pharmacological laboratories since our discovery of its channel blocking action in the early 1960s. This brief review describes the history of discovery of TTX action on sodium channels, and represents a story primarily of my own work. TTX inhibits voltage-gated sodium channels in a highly potent and selective manner without effects on any other receptor and ion channel systems. TTX blocks the sodium channel only from outside of the nerve membrane, and is due to binding to the selectivity filter resulting in prevention of sodium ion flow. It does not impairs the channel gating mechanism. More recently, the TTX-resistant sodium channels have been discovered in the nervous system and received much attention because of their role in pain sensation. TTX is now known to be produced not by puffer but by bacteria, and reaches various species of animals via food chain.(Communicated by Masanori OTSUKA, M.J.A.).

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"

We want to hear from doctors like you!

Take a second to answer a survey question.