Block by picrotoxin of a GABAergic chloride channel expressed on crayfish muscle after axotomy



Outside-out patches containing a γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-activated chloride channel expressed after axotomy on crayfish deep extensor abdominal muscle were excised. GABA and the blocker picrotoxin (PTX) were applied to the patches using a liquid filament switch to study the effects of picrotoxin on the GABA-elicited currents. Coapplication of GABA and PTX resulted in a reduction of the current amplitude compared with that elicited by the same GABA concentration alone. This reduction of the amplitude was dependent on both the GABA and PTX concentrations. The rise time of the current decreased after coapplication of GABA and PTX. Evaluation of the single channel currents and off-currents in the presence of GABA and PTX showed a dramatic shortening of the burst duration of the channel. The open time distributions were not altered, whereas in the closed time distributions a new closed time was apparent in presence of PTX. Preincubation with PTX prior to the GABA pulse resulted in an increase of the rise time. This effect was dependent on the PTX concentration only. Possible mechanisms are discussed to explain the effects of PTX and are implemented into the existing molecular reaction scheme of the channel.