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Int J Neuropsychopharmacol. 2002 Sep;5(3):229-37. doi: 10.1017/S1461145702002997.

Selective suppression of the slow-inactivating potassium currents by nootropics in molluscan neurons.

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Brain Research Institute, Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, Moscow, Russia.


The role of the voltage-gated K+ channels in the effect of some nootropics was investigated. Earlier, the multiple effect of high concentrations of two nootropics, piracetam and its peptide analogue GVS-111 [Seredenin et al. (1995), US Patent No. 5,439,930], on Ca2+ and K+ currents of molluscan neurons was shown [Solntseva et al. (1997), General Pharmacology 29, 85-89]. In the present work, we describe the selective effect of low concentrations of these nootropics as well as vinpocetine on certain types of K+ current. The experiments were performed on isolated neurons of the land snail Helix pomatia using a two-microelectrode voltage-clamp method. The inward voltage-gated Ca2+ current (ICa) and three subtypes of the outward voltage-gated K+ current were recorded: Ca2+-dependent K+ current (IK(Ca)), delayed rectifying current (IKD), and fast-inactivating K+ current (IA). It has been found that I Ca was not changed in the presence of 30 microM vinpocetine, 100 microM piracetam or 10 nM GVS-111, while slow-inactivating, TEA-sensitive IK(Ca) and IKD were inhibited (IK(Ca) more strongly than IKD). In contrast, the fast-inactivating, 4-AP-sensitive K+ current (IA) was not diminished by low concentrations of piracetam and GVS-111, while vinpocetine even augmented it. A possible role of slow-inactivating subtypes of the K+ channels in the development of different forms of dementia is discussed.

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