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

Effects of benzocaine on the kinetics of normal and batrachotoxin-modified Na channels in frog node of Ranvier.

The effects of benzocaine (0.5-1 mM) on normal Na currents, and on Na current and gating charge movement (Q) of batrachotoxin (BTX)-modified Na channels were analyzed in voltage-clamped frog node of Ranvier. Without BTX treatment the decay of Na current during pulses to between -40 and 0 mV could be decomposed into two exponential components both in the absence and in the presence of benzocaine. Benzocaine did not significantly alter the inactivation time constant of either component, but reduced both their amplitudes. The amplitude of the slow inactivating component was more decreased by benzocaine than the amplitude of the fast one, leading to an apparently faster decline of the overall Na current. After removal of Na inactivation and charge movement immobilization by BTX, benzocaine decreased the amplitude of INa with no change in time course. INa, QON, and QOFF were all reduced by the same factor. The results suggest that the rate of reaction of benzocaine with its receptor is slow compared to the rates of channel activation and inactivation. The differential effects of benzocaine on the two components of Na current inactivation in normal channels can be explained assuming two types of channel with different rates of inactivation and different affinities for the drug.[1]


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