Serum deprivation and NGF induce and modulate voltage-gated Na(+) currents in human astrocytoma cell lines

R KraftS Patt


Glial tumor cells derived from primary tissue express large voltage-gated Na(+) currents, whereas glioma cell lines usually lack this feature. We studied the effect of serum deprivation on the expression of Na(+) currents in two astrocytoma cell lines (1321N1 and A172). Serum deprivation for more than 2 days sufficed to induce large Na(+) currents in both cell lines; 300 nM of the specific blocker of voltage-gated Na(+) channels, tetrodotoxin, blocked these currents by about 85%. During serum deprivation, the cells also underwent morphological changes that were characterized by cell rounding and outgrowth of processes. Treatment with 100 ng/ml nerve growth factor (NGF) promoted these morphological changes and also accelerated the development of Na(+) currents. In 1321N1 cells, NGF increased the Na(+) current density after short serum deprivation (3--6 d) and changed several gating properties after longer serum deprivation (9--13 d). In comparison with cells from the early culture stage (3--6 d), the steady-state inactivation of the Na(+) current was shifted by -24 mV in NGF-treated cells from the late (9--13 d) culture stage. In untreated cells, this shift was only -13 mV. NGF accelerated the kinetics of inactivation and shifte...Continue Reading


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