Author(s): Targ EF, Kocsis JD
Abstract Share this page
Abstract The sciatic nerves of rats were demyelinated by microinjection of lysophosphatidylcholine. A variety of abnormalities such as conduction slowing and block were present. Application of the potassium channel blocker 4-aminopyridine (4-AP) to the lesion site, led to an increase in area of the compound action potential recorded across the site of demyelination. Single axon recordings revealed three types of changes that may account for the 4-AP-induced increase in the compound response. One group showed broadening of the action potential. Other axons showed hyperexcitability following 4-AP, as manifest by spontaneous firing and multiple spike discharge following a single stimulus. In some of the axons studied, 4-AP led to overcoming of conduction block. Although many axons showed increased excitability properties in the presence of 4-AP, the frequency-following ability of the axons was reduced, and the absolute refractory period of the axons was increased. These results indicate that pharmacological blockade of potassium channels with 4-AP not only leads to action potential broadening in demyelinated axons, but to a variety of excitability changes. These heterogeneous effects of 4-AP should be considered in the rationale for its clinical use.
This article was published in Brain Res
and referenced in International Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation