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

Calcium current and inactivation in identified neurons in Hermissenda crassicornis.

1. N-type (omega-conotoxin sensitive) calcium currents (ICa) were recorded in identified neurons in Hermissenda crassicornis using low-resistance patch electrodes (0.7 +/- 0.3 M omega; n = 101) under conditions that eliminated inward Na+ currents (choline ions substitution) and suppressed outward K+ currents (Cs+, tetraethylammonium, and 4-AP). Step depolarization from a holding potential of -60 mV to potentials above -30 mV elicited ICa, which peaked approximately 20 mV and declined with increasing depolarizations. 2. Evidence for a low-threshold current was present. Step depolarization from a more hyperpolarizing potentials (e.g., -90 mV) revealed a small shoulder (< 100 pA) at -60 to -40 mV that was sensitive to Co2+ and Ni2+. However, under the conditions examined here (holding potential of -60 mV), the high-voltage-activated current predominated. 3. Barium (Ba2+) and strontium (Sr2+) permeate the Ca2+ channel with similar activation kinetics (ease of permeation; Ba2+ > Ca2+ > Sr2+). Steady-state activation of permeability versus membrane potentials for Ca2+, Ba2+, and Sr2+ as charge carriers could be fitted with the Boltzmann equation, with half-activation voltage and slope factor of 2.9 and 7.7 mV for ICa, -13.1 mV and 7.8 for Ba2+ current (IBa) and -2.3 mV and 7.8 for Sr2+ current (ISr). The time course of activation was monotonic with time constant (tau) for ICa ranging from 2 to 8 ms. 4. The inactivation profile was complex. At negative step potentials (e.g., -20 mV), inactivation of the current was slow. Depolarization steps to relatively positive voltages (e.g., 10 mV) showed more rapid inactivation than those at more positive potentials (e.g., 40 mV). When extracellular Ca2+ was raised from 5 to 10 mM, a biphasic decay (tau fast of 25 +/- 4 ms; and tau slow of 473 +/- 64 ms; mean +/- SD, n = 9) was seen. Such an observation suggested a current-mediated inactivation. 5. With a pulse duration of approximately 350 ms, ISr showed inactivation whereas Ba2+ virtually removed the decay. However, IBa turned off with more prolonged depolarization. 6. A twin-pulse protocol was used to assess the voltage dependence of inactivation: an incomplete U-shaped inactivation curve was observed for ICa, IBa, and ISr. Channels available for inactivation were increased in the presence of Ca2+ ions. 7. Inactivation was further studied with the Ca2+ chelators, ethylene glycol-bis(beta-aminoethyl ether)-N,N,N',N'-tetraacetic acid and bis(o-aminophenoxy)-N,N,N',N'-tetraacetic acid (BAPTA). With 10 mM of BAPTA, in the pipette, inactivation was reduced but not removed.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)[1]


  1. Calcium current and inactivation in identified neurons in Hermissenda crassicornis. Yamoah, E.N., Kuzirian, A.M., Sanchez-Andres, J.V. J. Neurophysiol. (1994) [Pubmed]
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