Regulation of sodium currents and acetylcholine responses in PC12 cells

C. K. Ifune, J. H. Steinbach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Voltage-gated sodium currents and acetylcholine-elicited currents in clonal rat pheochromocytoma cells (PC12) were studied using the whole-cell patch-clamp technique. After treatment of cultures with nerve growth factor (NGF, 2-4 nM) for 5 or more days, both Na currents and ACh responses increased by 5-7 fold. We tested the ability of a number of treatments reported to induce physiological differentiation in neuroblastoma or neuroblastoma-glioma hybrid cells. We found that no treatment was as effective as NGF, and mitotic inhibitors and 8-bromocyclic AMP reduced the efficacy of NGF at increasing both sodium currents and ACh responses. Some treatments were able to selectively reduce or enhance the ability of NGF to induced ACh responses or sodium currents. Dexamethasone, in particular, completely blocked the NGF-induced increase in ACh response, while leaving Na currents unaffected. Furthermore, in individual cells the Na current density and ACh current density are uncorrelated. These observations indicate that physiological differentiation in PC12 cells is regulated differently than in neuroblastoma cells and, further, in PC12 cells sodium currents and ACh responses are independently regulated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243-248
Number of pages6
JournalBrain Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 8 1990


  • Nerve growth factor
  • Neuronal differentiation
  • Pheochromocytoma PC12 cell
  • Sodium current


Dive into the research topics of 'Regulation of sodium currents and acetylcholine responses in PC12 cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this