Follicular Tissues Reduce Drug Effects on Ion Channels in Oocytes of Xenopus laevis



The influence of follicular tissues on drug effects on ion channels in Xenopus oocytes was tested by investigating the pharmacological properties of a cloned potassium channel in oocytes with and without follicular tissues. The data show that the efficacy of blocking agents (ranging from metal ions to peptides) is drastically reduced by the follicular tissues (reductions by as much as 90% and increases of the IC50 values up to 30–fold). Furthermore, the time course of the blocking effect was slowed down by the tissues (increases of the t50 values up to 40–fold). The described impairment could be mitigated, but not abolished by partial removal of the follicular tissues (so-called defolliculation, leaving only the vitelline envelope and part of the follicle cells on the oocyte surface). The results indicate that the follicular tissues can induce significant errors in pharmacological measurements on membrane proteins in Xenopus oocytes.