The permeation and activation properties of brain sodium channels change during development

Cecilia Castillo, William B. Thornhill, Jing Zhu, Esperanza Recio-Pinto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


BTX-modified sodium channels from 15-day embryonic (E15) rat forebrains were studied in planar lipid bilayers. Compared to postnatal sodium channels, E15 channels had a lower maximal single channel conductance, whereas their permeation pathway sensed a comparable surface charge density and had a similar apparent binding affinity for sodium ions. The steady-state activation curve of E15 channels was significantly more hyperpolarized and had a shallower slope than postnatal channels. The apparent BTX binding affinity was significantly lower for E15 channels than for postnatal channels. Finally, E15 channel α-subunits displayed a lower apparent molecular weight, and a lower sialylation level than postnatal sodium channel α-subunits. Together with previous studies, our data suggested that the observed functional differences between E15 and postnatal voltage-dependent sodium channels cannot be explained solely by the observed differences in channel sialylation, and hence they also appeared to reflect the presence of other channel structural differences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)99-106
Number of pages8
JournalDevelopmental Brain Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 12 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Channel function during development
  • Glycosylation
  • Rat forebrain
  • Sialylation
  • Voltage-dependent sodium channel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Developmental Biology


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