4-Aminopyridine derivatives enhance impulse conduction in guinea-pig spinal cord following traumatic injury.

Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Center for Paralysis Research, Purdue University, 408 South University Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA.
Neuroscience (Impact Factor: 3.33). 09/2007; 148(1):44-52. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2007.05.039
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT 4-Aminopyridine (4-AP), a potassium channel blocker, is capable of restoring conduction in the injured spinal cord. However, the maximal tolerated level of 4-AP in humans is 100 times lower than the optimal dose in in vitro animal studies due to its substantially negative side effects. As an initial step toward the goal of identifying alternative potassium channel blockers with a similar ability of enhancing conduction and with fewer side effects, we have synthesized structurally distinct pyridine-based blockers. Using isolated guinea-pig spinal cord white matter and a double sucrose gap recording device, we have found three pyridine derivatives, N-(4-pyridyl)-methyl carbamate (100 microM), N-(4-pyridyl)-ethyl carbamate (100 microM), and N-(4-pyridyl)-tertbutyl (10 microM) can significantly enhance conduction in spinal cord white matter following stretch. Similar to 4-AP, the derivatives did not preferentially enhance conduction based on axonal caliber. Unlike 4-AP, the derivatives did not change the overall electrical responsiveness of axons to multiple stimuli, indicating the axons recruited by the derivatives conducted in a manner similar to healthy axons. These results demonstrate the ability of novel constructs to serve as an alternative to 4-AP for the purpose of reversing conduction deficits.

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