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Nature. 1984 Sep 13-19;311(5982):156-7.

Neuronal-type Na+ and K+ channels in rabbit cultured Schwann cells.


Nerve axons in the central and peripheral nervous system are normally surrounded by satellite cells. These cells, known as Schwann cells in the peripheral nervous system, interact with axons to form a myelin sheath, so allowing nerve impulses to proceed at high speed. Schwann cells are thought to differ from neurones in their membrane properties in one important aspect: they lack excitability. Using the patch-clamp technique we have now measured directly the ionic currents across the membrane of single Schwann cells cultured from newborn rabbits. Surprisingly, we found that these Schwann cells possess voltage-gated sodium and potassium channels that are similar to those present in neuronal membranes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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