BK channel blockers inhibit potassium-induced proliferation of human astrocytoma cells

Daniel Basrai, Robert Kraft, Christian Bollensdorff, Lutz Liebmann, Klaus Benndorf, Stephan Patt

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The functional role of BK channels, which are consistently expressed in glioma cells, is not clear. Here we show that the BK channels are regularly active in human 1321N1 astrocytoma cells at physiological membrane potentials. The proliferation of the cells at the physiological external [K+] of 5 mM is compared with that at the elevated external [K+] of 20 mM, simulating the situation in rapidly growing, necrotic tumours in vivo. High extracellular [K+] in the range 10-30 mM significantly increases the proliferation of 1321N1 cells. This K+ induced proliferation can be completely abolished by applying the specific BK channel blockers iberiotoxin (IBTX) or 1 mM tetraethylammonium (TEA). Neither blocker has any effect on cell growth at 5 mM [K+]e. These findings indicate a particular role of BK channels in astrocytoma cell proliferation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)403-407
Number of pages5
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 25 Mar 2002
Externally publishedYes



  • Calcium-activated potassium channels
  • Glioma
  • Iberiotoxin
  • Mitogen
  • Proliferation
  • TEA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Basrai, D., Kraft, R., Bollensdorff, C., Liebmann, L., Benndorf, K., & Patt, S. (2002). BK channel blockers inhibit potassium-induced proliferation of human astrocytoma cells. NeuroReport, 13(4), 403-407.