Pflügers Archiv

, Volume 414, Issue 6, pp 622–628 | Cite as

ATP-sensitive potassium channels in adult mouse skeletal muscle: Different modes of blockage by internal cations, ATP and tolbutamide

  • K. H. Woll
  • U. Lönnendonker
  • B. Neumcke
Excitable Tissues and Central Nervous Physiology


Single ATP-sensitive K channels were studied in membrane patches excised from enzymatically dissociated mouse toe muscle. The channel conductance is 74 pS in symmetrical 160 mM KCl solutions. Replacement of K+ by Na+ in the internal solution or 2 mM internal Ca2+ or Mg2+ induced a rectification of the current-voltage curve at positive potentials. No change of the current-voltage curve was observed by adding small amounts of the channel blockers ATP (20–100 μM) or tolbutamide (0.5 mM) to internal 160 mM KCl solutions. The openings of the channel occurred in bursts. Open (τo), closed (τc) times within bursts and pauses (τp) between bursts were determined over a wide range of positive and negative membrane potentials. At increasing potentials τo increases, τc reaches a minimum near 0 mV and τp decreases. According to the voltage dependence and the time scale of channel blockage three types of blocking agents could be distinguished: (i) small internal cations (Na+, Ca2+, Mg2+) are “fast” blockers at positive voltages; at negative voltages they decrease τo and increase τc. (ii) Internal ATP anions produce a voltage-dependent decline of the open-state probability and strongly decrease τo. (iii) Tolbutamide causes a voltage-independent decrease of the open-probability and its main effect is an increase of τp. The results suggest that the ATP-sensitive K channel has an internal gate like those of other voltage-gated cation channels and that different blockers interfere with different transitions in channel gating.

Key words

Skeletal muscle Patch clamp K channel Adenosine triphosphate Channel blockage 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. H. Woll
    • 1
  • U. Lönnendonker
    • 1
  • B. Neumcke
    • 1
  1. 1.Physiologisches Institut der Universität des SaarlandesHomburg/SaarFederal Republic of Germany

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