Pflügers Archiv - European Journal of Physiology

, Volume 455, Issue 5, pp 929–938 | Cite as

A comparison of the effects of veratridine on tetrodotoxin-sensitive and tetrodotoxin-resistant sodium channels in isolated rat dorsal root ganglion neurons

  • K. J. Farrag
  • A. Bhattacharjee
  • R. J. DochertyEmail author
Ion Channels


The effects of veratridine have been compared on tetrodotoxin-sensitive (TTXS) and tetrodotoxin-resistant (TTXR) voltage-gated sodium channels (VGSC) in rat dorsal root ganglion neurons. Veratridine caused a dose-dependent decrease in the peak amplitude of both TTXR and TTXS VGSC currents. When exposed to 25 μM veratridine, TTXS currents but not TTXR currents developed a clear persistent component. The deactivation of both TTXS and TTXR currents was slowed, as evidenced by the appearance of slowly decaying tail currents in voltage clamp records, but the slowing of deactivation was nearly 100 times greater for TTXS than for TTXR currents. Properties of the veratridine-modified VGSCs, derived from an analysis of the slow tail currents, were similar for both TTXS and TTXR in that the V50 for activation and the reversal potential were shifted to more negative potentials than control currents and by a similar amount for each. The relatively fast decay of veratridine-modified TTXR tail currents reflects a faster dissociation of veratridine from TTXR than from TTXS VGSCs. This difference probably underlies the lack of effect of veratridine on TTXR VGSCs in cells that are not voltage-clamped and undermines its value as a chemical activator of putative NaV1.8 TTXR channels.


Sodium channel Dorsal root ganglion Veratridine Tetrodotoxin Sensory neuron Pain 



We thank the Trustees of Guy’s and St. Thomas’ Charitable Foundation (grant ref. 970595) and The Migraine Trust for their financial support.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. J. Farrag
    • 1
  • A. Bhattacharjee
    • 1
  • R. J. Docherty
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Wolfson Centre for Age-related Diseases, School of Biomedical and Health SciencesKing’s College LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.Wolfson Centre for Age-Related Diseases, Guy’s Campus, London BridgeKing’s College LondonLondonUK

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