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.
- Channel blockade
- Trimethyl lead (TML)
- Voltage-activated calcium channel currents
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