Voltage-activated calcium channel currents of rat dorsal root ganglion cells are reduced by trimethyl lead

Elke Gawrisch, Ralph Leonhardt, Dietrich Busselberg

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Using the conventional whole-cell patch-clamp recording technique with cultured neurones of rat dorsal root ganglions (DRG), we analysed the effects of trimethyl lead (TML) on voltage-activated calcium channel currents. TML reduces voltage-activated calcium channel currents in a dose-dependent manner, with a threshold concentration below 0.5 μM and a total reduction of the current (≤ 80% of the control current) at concentrations above 50 μM Half of the current is abolished at TML concentrations between 1 and 5 μM. The action is irreversible and is not voltage dependent. After application of TML the current decreases with each activation of the channel until a steady state is reached after 8-12 min, when the channel was activated every 10 s. The channel had to be in the open state for TML to act. TML is a potent compound for reducing voltage activated calcium channel currents. These effects of TML must be taken into account in explaining the neurotoxic effects of this organic metal compound.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-122
Number of pages6
JournalToxicology Letters
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jul 1997
Externally publishedYes



  • Channel blockade
  • Neurotoxicity
  • Rat
  • Trimethyl lead (TML)
  • Voltage-activated calcium channel currents

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology

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