Interaction of opioids and membrane potential to modulate Ca2+ channels in rat dorsal root ganglion neurons.


:1. Using patch-clamp methods, we show that brief prepulses to very positive voltages increase (facilitate) the amplitude of current through Ca2+ channels during a subsequent test pulse in some, but not all, dorsal root ganglion (DRG) sensory neurons. The amplitude of this facilitated current generally increases when the Ca2+ channels are inhibited by activation of the mu-opioid receptor. 2. The facilitated current is blocked by omega-conotoxin GVIA, activates in the range of high-threshold Ca2+ channels, and inactivates at relatively negative holding voltages. Thus facilitated current passes through N-type Ca2+ channels, the same channels that are inhibited by opioids and control neurotransmitter release in sensory neurons. 3. Although maximal facilitation occurs only at unphysiologically high membrane potentials (above +100 mV), some facilitation is seen after prepulses to voltages reached during action potentials. After return to the holding potential, facilitation persists for hundreds of milliseconds, considerably longer than in other neurons. Brief trains of pulses designed to mimic action potentials caused small facilitation (19% of maximal) in a fraction (8 of 24) of opioid-inhibited neurons. 4. We conclude that 1) prepulses to extremely positive voltages can cause partial recovery of Ca2+ channels inhibited by opioids; and 2) small, but detectable, facilitation is also seen after physiological stimulation in some DRG neurons. Facilitation, largely considered a biophysical epiphenomenon because of the extreme voltages used to induce it, appears to be physiologically relevant during opioid inhibition of Ca2+ channels in DRG neurons.


J Neurophysiol


Womack MD,McCleskey EW




Has Abstract


1995-05-01 00:00:00












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