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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Trichloroethanol alters action potentials in a subgroup of primary sensory neurones.

We investigated the effects of 2,2,2-trichloroethanol (TCE), the active metabolite of chloral hydrate, on large-conductance calcium-activated K+ channels (BKCa channels) of dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurones. In outside-out patches, 2 and 5 mM TCE increased the open probability of BKCa channels to 1.7-fold and 2.8-fold of control, respectively. In 50% of the cells investigated (group A) the action potential (AP) was shortened reversibly by TCE by 20% and the whole-cell outward-current was increased by 44%. Both effects could be antagonized by iberiotoxin. In a second group of neurone (group B), TCE prolonged the AP duration. The effects of TCE in group A, which was 20-fold more potent than ethanol on BKCa channels and AP might contribute to the described analgesic effect of chloral hydrate.[1]


  1. Trichloroethanol alters action potentials in a subgroup of primary sensory neurones. Gruss, M., Hempelmann, G., Scholz, A. Neuroreport (2002) [Pubmed]
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