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J Physiol. 2000 Apr 1;524 Pt 1:37-49.

Lidocaine induces a slow inactivated state in rat skeletal muscle sodium channels.

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Departments of Anesthesiology and Pharmacology, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, TN 37232, USA.


1. Local anaesthetics such as lidocaine (lignocaine) interact with sodium channels in a manner that is exquisitely sensitive to the voltage-dependent conformational state of the ion channel. When depolarized in the presence of lidocaine, sodium channels assume a long-lived quiescent state. Although studies over the last decade have localized the lidocaine receptor to the inner aspect of the aqueous pore, the mechanistic basis of depolarization-induced 'use-dependent' lidocaine block remains uncertain. 2. Recent studies have shown that lowering the extracellular Na+ concentration ([Na+]o) and mutations in the sodium channel outer P-loop modulate occupancy of a quiescent 'slow' inactivated state with intermediate kinetics (termed IM) that involves structural rearrangements in the outer pore. 3. Site-directed mutagenesis and ion-replacement experiments were performed using voltage-clamped Xenopus oocytes and cultured (HEK-293) cells expressing wild-type and mutant rat skeletal muscle (mu1) sodium channels. 4. Our results show that lowering [Na+]o potentiates use-dependent lidocaine block. The effect of [Na+]o is maintained despite a III-IV linker mutation that partially disrupts fast inactivation (F1304Q). In contrast, the effect of lowering [Na+]o on lidocaine block is reduced by a P-loop mutation (W402A) that limits occupancy of IM. 5. Our findings are consistent with a simple allosteric model where lidocaine binding induces channels to occupy a native slow inactivated state that is inhibited by [Na+]o.

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