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Friday 03 February 2006

Calcium-permeable acid-sensing ion channel is a molecular target of the neurotoxic metal ion lead.

By: Wang W, Duan B, Xu H, Xu L, Xu TL.

J Biol Chem 2006 Feb 3;281(5):2497-505

Acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs) are emerging as fundamental players in the regulation of neural plasticity and in pathological conditions. Here we showed that lead (Pb2+), a well known neurotoxic metal ion, reversibly and concentration-dependently inhibited ASIC currents in the acutely dissociated spinal dorsal horn and hippocampal CA1 neurons of rats. In vitro expression of ASIC subunits in combination demonstrated that both ASIC1 and -3 subunits were sensitive to Pb2+. Mechanistically, Pb2+ reduced the pH sensitivity of ASICs independent of membrane voltage change. Moreover, Pb2+ inhibited the ASIC-mediated membrane depolarization and the elevation of intracellular Ca2+ concentration. In addition, we compared the effect of Pb2+ with that of Ca2+ or amiloride to explore the possible interactions of Pb2+ and Ca2+ in regulating ASICs, and we found that Pb2+ inhibited ASIC currents independent of the amiloride/Ca2+ blockade. Because ASIC1b and -3 subunits are mainly expressed in peripheral neurons, our data identified ASIC1a-containing Ca2+-permeable ASIC as a novel central target of Pb2+ action, which may contribute to Pb2+ neurotoxicity.

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