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Brain Res. 1993 Nov 12;627(2):239-48.

Differential sensitivity of tetrodotoxin-sensitive and tetrodotoxin-resistant sodium channels to the insecticide allethrin in rat dorsal root ganglion neurons.

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Department of Pharmacology, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, IL 60611.


The pyrethroid insecticides are known to modify neuronal sodium channels to cause a prolongation of whole cell current. The sodium channels expressed in the dorsal root ganglion neurons of the rat are of two types, one highly sensitive to tetrodotoxin and the other highly resistant to tetrodotoxin. The pyrethroid allethrin exerted profound effects on tetrodotoxin-resistant sodium channels while causing minimal effects on tetrodotoxin-sensitive sodium channels. Currents derived from tetrodotoxin-resistant sodium channels were greatly prolonged during a step depolarization; the tail currents upon repolarization were also augmented and prolonged. In the tetrodotoxin-sensitive sodium channel currents, these changes caused by allethrin were much smaller or negligible. The activation and inactivation voltages of tetrodotoxin-resistant peak sodium currents were not significantly altered by allethrin. The differential action of allethrin on the two types of sodium channels would be important not only in identifying the target molecular structure but also in interpreting the symptoms of poisoning in mammals.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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