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Response to "Sodium current inhibition by nanosecond pulsed electric field (nsPEF)-fact or artifact?" by Verkerk et al.

Frank Reidy Research Center for Bioelectrics, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia. , .
Bioelectromagnetics (Impact Factor: 1.86). 02/2013; 34(2). DOI: 10.1002/bem.21756
Source: PubMed
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    ABSTRACT: Previous studies have found that nanosecond pulsed electric field (nsPEF) exposure causes long-term permeabilization of the cell plasma membrane. In this study, we utilized the whole-cell patch-clamp method to study the nsPEF effect on currents of voltage-gated (VG) Ca(2+) and Na(+) channels (I(Ca) and I(Na)) in cultured GH3 and NG108 cells. We found that a single 300 or 600 ns pulse at or above 1.5-2 kV/cm caused prolonged inhibition of I(Ca) and I(Na). Concurrently, nsPEF increased a non-inactivating "leak" current (I(leak)), presumably due to the formation of nanoelectropores or larger pores in the plasma membrane. The nsPEF effects were similar in cells that were exposed intact and subsequently brought into the whole-cell recording configuration, and in cells that were first brought into the whole-cell configuration and then exposed. Although both I(leak) and the inhibition of VG currents were enhanced at higher E-field levels, these two nsPEF effects showed relatively weak correlation with each other. In some cells, I(leak) increased 10-fold or more while VG currents remained unchanged. At longer time intervals after exposure (5-15 min), I(Ca) and I(Na) could remain inhibited although I(leak) had largely recovered. The causal relation of nsPEF inhibitory effects on VG currents and permeabilization of the plasma membrane is discussed.
    Bioelectromagnetics 07/2012; 33(5):394-404. DOI:10.1002/bem.21696 · 1.86 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In earlier studies, we found that permeabilization of mammalian cells with nsPEF was accompanied by prolonged inhibition of voltage-gated (VG) currents through the plasma membrane. This study explored if the inhibition of VG Na(+) current (I(Na)) resulted from (i) reduction of the transmembrane Na(+) gradient due to its influx via nsPEF-opened pores, and/or (ii) downregulation of the VG channels by a Ca(2+)-dependent mechanism. We found that a single 300 ns electric pulse at 1.6-5.3 kV/cm triggered sustained Na(+) influx in exposed NG108 cells and in primary chromaffin cells, as detected by increased fluorescence of a Sodium Green Dye. In the whole-cell patch clamp configuration, this influx was efficiently buffered by the pipette solution so that the increase in the intracellular concentration of Na(+) ([Na](i)) did not exceed 2-3 mM. [Na](i) increased uniformly over the cell volume and showed no additional peaks immediately below the plasma membrane. Concurrently, nsPEF reduced VG I(Na) by 30-60% (at 4 and 5.3 kV/cm). In control experiments, even a greater increase of the pipette [Na(+)] (by 5 mM) did not attenuate VG I(Na), thereby indicating that the nsPEF-induced Na(+) influx was not the cause of VG I(Na) inhibition. Similarly, adding 20 mM of a fast Ca(2+) chelator 1,2-bis(o-aminophenoxy)ethane-N,N,N',N'-tetraacetic acid (BAPTA) into the pipette solution did not prevent or attenuate the inhibition of the VG I(Na) by nsPEF. These findings point to possible Ca(2+)-independent downregulation of the VG Na(+) channels (e.g., caused by alteration of the lipid bilayer) or the direct effect of nsPEF on the channel.
    Bioelectromagnetics 09/2012; 33(6):443-51. DOI:10.1002/bem.21703 · 1.86 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In two recent publications in Bioelectromagnetics it has been demonstrated that the voltage-gated sodium current (I(Na) ) is inhibited in response to a nanosecond pulsed electric field (nsPEF). At the same time, there was an increase in a non-inactivating "leak" current (I(leak) ), which was attributed to the formation of nanoelectropores or larger pores in the plasma membrane. We demonstrate that the increase in I(leak) , in combination with a residual series resistance, leads to an error in the holding potential in the patch clamp experiments and an unanticipated inactivation of the sodium channels. We conclude that the observed inhibition of I(Na) may be largely, if not fully, artifactual. Bioelectromagnetics. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Bioelectromagnetics 02/2013; 34(2). DOI:10.1002/bem.21754 · 1.86 Impact Factor

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