Cation permeability change caused by l-glutamate in cultured rat hippocampal neurons

Seiji Ozawa, Tomoko Nakamura, Michisuke Yuzaki

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18 Citations (Scopus)


The ionic mechanism of the membrane permeability changes caused by l-glutamate in hippocampal neurons prepared from 17- to 19-day-old fetal rat in dispersed cell cultures was studied with the whole-cell variation of the patch electrode voltage-clamp technique. The cultured hippocampal neurons became sensitive to glutamate 7 days after plating, and thereafter the sensitivity gradually increased. The conductance increase caused by glutamate was voltage-sensitive, decreasing with membrane hyperpolarization at potentials more negative than -40 mV. The relative permeability of glutamate-activated channels to alkali metal and alkaline earth cations was estimated by reversal potential measurements. The alkali metal cations, Li+, Na+, K+, Rb+ and Cs+ were permeant to the glutamate channels, and the selectively among them was weak. The alkaline earth cations, Ca2+, Sr2+ and Ba2+ were more permeant than the alkali metals. The permeability ratios of these divalent cations relative to Na+ were 2.4 (Ca2+), 2.4 (Sr2+) and 2.8 (Ba2+), respectively. Mg2+ was much less permeant and the permeability ratio (PMg/PNa) was only 0.1. Anion conductance made no contribution to the glutamate-induced current. Functional implications of the glutamate-induced increase in Ca2+-influx were discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-94
Number of pages10
JournalBrain Research
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 1988 Mar 8
Externally publishedYes


  • Alkali metal cation
  • Calcium
  • Cultured hippocampal neuron
  • Magnesium
  • Membrane permeability
  • Whole-cell voltage-clamp
  • l-Glutamate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology


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