Patch clamp techniques were used to study whole cell ionic currents in Schwann cells (SC) from a tropical marine fish, the bicolor damselfish, Pomacentrus partitus. The bicolor damselfish is affected by a disease termed damselfish neurofibromatosis (DNF), being developed as an animal model of neurofibromatosis‐type 1 (NF1) in humans. NF1 affects SC, fibroblasts, and perineurial cells. The sole depolarization‐activated ionic current present in cultured SC from normal fish peripheral nerve and from neurofibromas of fish with induced or spontaneously occurring DNF was an inactivating K+ current (K current), with a strong dependence on the Nernst potential for K+. This K current activated at depolarizations to ‐40 mV and above and inactivated during a maintained test pulse (0.2‐1 s), but inactivation was significantly greater in tumored SC. Both currents were inhibited by 4‐aminopyridine (Kd 1 mM) and by dendrotoxin (15 μM) but were insensitive to extracellular tetraethyammonium (≤ 150 mM), indicating that the whole cell currents were similar pharmacologically. The currents could be distinguished on the basis of their sensitivity to depolarized holding potential, with normal cells less sensitive. Half‐inactivation of the current was ‐32 mV in normal cells and ‐38 mV in tumored cells. Inactivation curves constructed from the average normalized current for many SC were significantly different in normal and tumored cells. When the depolarized holding potential was maintained between test depolarizations, greater voltage‐dependent inactivation in tumored cells was apparent. Normal cells maintained an average of 36% of peak current at a holding voltage of −40 mV, while in tumored cells this average was 12%, a significant difference. © 1994 Wiley‐Liss, Inc.
- Patch clamp
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience