A Patch-Clamp Study of Excitatory Amino Acid Activated Channels

  • P. Ascher
  • L. Nowak
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 203)


Although the introduction of the patch-clamp techniques (Neher and Sakmann, 1976; Hamill et al., 1981) has been universally recognized as a major breakthrough in the biophysical study of ion channels, these techniques have not yet become a standard tool for pharmacological studies. We shall briefly describe below some of the results that we have obtained, using ‘outside-out’ patches of mouse central neurons (Nowak et al., 1984), in the characterization of excitatory amino acid (EAA) receptors and channels. In this description, we shall not develop the biophysical results (and in particular the description of kinetics of the channels) but shall concentrate on the results of direct pharmacological and physiological relevance.


Excitatory Amino Acid Glutamate Concentration Mammalian Central Nervous System Single Channel Current NMDA Channel 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Ascher, P., Nowak, L., and Kehoe, J.S., 1986, Glutamate-activated channels in molluscan and vertebrate neurones, in: Ion Channels in Neural Membranes, J.M. Ritchie and R.D. Keynes, Alan R. Liss, in press.Google Scholar
  2. Cull-Candy, S.G., and Ogden, D.C., 1985, Ion channels activated by L-glutamate and GABA in cultured cerebellar neurones of the rat, Proc. R, Soc. B., 224: 367.Google Scholar
  3. Curtis, D.R., and Johnston, G.A.R., 1974, Amino acid transmitters in the mammalian central nervous system, Ergebn. Physiol., 69: 97.Google Scholar
  4. Engberg, I., Flatman, J.A., and Lambert, J.D.C., 1979, The actions of excitatory amino acids on motoneurones in the feline spinal cord, J. Physiol., 288: 227.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Ferraro, T.N., and Hare, T.A., 1985, Free and conjugated amino acids in human CSF: influence of age and sex, Brain Res., 338: 53.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Foster, A.C., and Fagg, G.E., 1984, Acidic amino acid binding sites in mammalian neuronal membranes: their characteristics and relationship to synaptic receptors, Brain Res. Rev., 7: 101.Google Scholar
  7. Foster, G.A., and Roberts, P.J., 1981, Kainic acid stimulation of cerebellar cyclic GMP levels: potentiation by glutamate and related amino acids, Neurosci. Lett., 23: 67.Google Scholar
  8. Garthwaite, J., 1982, Excitatory amino acid receptors and guanosine 3’, 5’ cyclic monophosphate in incubated slices of immature and adult rat cerebellum, Neuroscience, 7: 2491.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Hamill, O.P., Marty, A., Neher, E., Sakmann, B., and Sigworth, F., 1981, Improved patch clamp techniques for high resolution current recording from cells and cell-free membrane patches, Pflügers Arch., 391: 85.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Hamill, O.P., and Sakmann, B., 1981, Multiple conductance states of single acetylcholine receptor channels in embryonic muscle cells, Nature, 294: 462.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Hamill, O.P., Bormann, J., and Sakmann, B., 1983, Activation of multiple-conductance state chloride channels in spinal neurones by glycine and GABA, Nature, 309: 160.Google Scholar
  12. Mayer, M~, Westbrook, G., and Guthrie, P.B., 1984, Voltage dependent block by Mg of NMDA responses in spinal cord neurones, Nature, 309: 261.Google Scholar
  13. McLennan, H., 1981, On the nature of receptors for various excitatory amino acids in the mammalian central nervous system, Adv. Biochem. Psychopharmacologv, 27: 253.Google Scholar
  14. Neher, E., and Sakmann, B., 1976, Single channel currents recorded from membrane of denervated frog muscle fibers, Nature, 260: 799.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Nicoletti, F., Meek, J.L., Iadarola, M.J., Chuang, D.M., Roth, B.L., and Costa, E., 1986, Coupling of inositol phospholipid metabolism with excitatory amino acid recognition sites in rat hippocampus, J. Neurochem., 46: 40.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Nowak, L., Bregestovski, P., Ascher, P., Herbet, A., and Prochiantz, A., 1984, Magnesium gates glutamate-activated channels in mouse central neurones, Nature, 307: 462.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Sladeczek, F., Pin, J.P., Recasens, M., Bockaert, J., and Weiss, S., 1985, Glutamate stimulates inositol phosphate formation in striatal neurones, Nature, 317: 717.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Watkins, J.C., and Evans, R., 1981, Excitatory amino acid transmitters, Ann. Rev. Pharmacol. Toxicol., 21: 165.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Ascher
    • 1
  • L. Nowak
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratoire de NeurobiologieEcole Normale SupérieureParis Cedex 05France
  2. 2.Department of PharmacologyCornell University Veterinary CollegeIthacaUSA

Personalised recommendations