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Bioelectromagnetics. 2012 Sep;33(6):443-51. doi: 10.1002/bem.21703. Epub 2012 Jan 10.

Inhibition of voltage-gated Na(+) current by nanosecond pulsed electric field (nsPEF) is not mediated by Na(+) influx or Ca(2+) signaling.

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1
Frank Reidy Research Center for Bioelectrics, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA, USA.

Abstract

In earlier studies, we found that permeabilization of mammalian cells with nsPEF was accompanied by prolonged inhibition of voltage-gated (VG) currents through the plasma membrane. This study explored if the inhibition of VG Na(+) current (I(Na)) resulted from (i) reduction of the transmembrane Na(+) gradient due to its influx via nsPEF-opened pores, and/or (ii) downregulation of the VG channels by a Ca(2+)-dependent mechanism. We found that a single 300 ns electric pulse at 1.6-5.3 kV/cm triggered sustained Na(+) influx in exposed NG108 cells and in primary chromaffin cells, as detected by increased fluorescence of a Sodium Green Dye. In the whole-cell patch clamp configuration, this influx was efficiently buffered by the pipette solution so that the increase in the intracellular concentration of Na(+) ([Na](i)) did not exceed 2-3 mM. [Na](i) increased uniformly over the cell volume and showed no additional peaks immediately below the plasma membrane. Concurrently, nsPEF reduced VG I(Na) by 30-60% (at 4 and 5.3 kV/cm). In control experiments, even a greater increase of the pipette [Na(+)] (by 5 mM) did not attenuate VG I(Na), thereby indicating that the nsPEF-induced Na(+) influx was not the cause of VG I(Na) inhibition. Similarly, adding 20 mM of a fast Ca(2+) chelator 1,2-bis(o-aminophenoxy)ethane-N,N,N',N'-tetraacetic acid (BAPTA) into the pipette solution did not prevent or attenuate the inhibition of the VG I(Na) by nsPEF. These findings point to possible Ca(2+)-independent downregulation of the VG Na(+) channels (e.g., caused by alteration of the lipid bilayer) or the direct effect of nsPEF on the channel.

PMID:
22234846
PMCID:
PMC3330144
DOI:
10.1002/bem.21703
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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