Send to

Choose Destination
Biophys J. 1996 Jan;70(1):296-304.

Beta-amyloid peptide blocks the fast-inactivating K+ current in rat hippocampal neurons.

Author information

Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Wisconsin, Madison 53706, USA.


Deposition of beta-amyloid peptide (A beta) in senile plaques is a hallmark of Alzheimer disease neuropathology. Chronic exposure of neuronal cultures to synthetic A beta is directly toxic, or enhances neuronal susceptibility to excitotoxins. Exposure to A beta may cause a loss of cellular calcium homeostasis, but the mechanism by which this occurs is uncertain. In this work, the acute response of rat hippocampal neurons to applications of synthetic A beta was measured using whole-cell voltage-clamp techniques. Pulse application of A beta caused a reversible voltage-dependent decrease in membrane conductance. A beta selectively blocked the voltage-gated fast-inactivating K+ current, with an estimated KI < 10 microM. A beta also blocked the delayed rectifying current, but only at the highest concentration tested. The response was independent of aggregation state or peptide length. The dynamic response of the fast-inactivating current to a voltage jump was consistent with a model whereby A beta binds reversibly to closed channels and prevents their opening. Blockage of fast-inactivating K+ channels by A beta could lead to prolonged cell depolarization, thereby increasing Ca2+ influx.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center