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EPRC is a leading institute in Europe for comparative research on public policy, with a particular focus on regional development policies. Spanning 30 European countries, EPRC research programmes have a strong emphasis on applied research and knowledge exchange, including the provision of policy advice to EU institutions and national and sub-national government authorities throughout Europe.

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An electrophysiological study on the effects of Pa-1G (a phospholipase A(2)) from the venom of king brown snake, Pseudechis australis, on neuromuscular function

Fatehi, M. and Rowan, E.G. and Harvey, A.L. (2002) An electrophysiological study on the effects of Pa-1G (a phospholipase A(2)) from the venom of king brown snake, Pseudechis australis, on neuromuscular function. Toxicon, 40 (1). pp. 69-75. ISSN 0041-0101

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Abstract

The effects of Pa-1G, a phospholipase A(2) (PLA(2)) from the venom of the Australian king brown snake (Pseudechis australis) were determined on the release of acetylcholine, muscle resting membrane potential and motor nerve terminal action potential at mouse neuromuscular junction. Intracellular recording from endplate regions of mouse triangularis sterni nerve-muscle preparations revealed that Pa-1G (800 nM) significantly reduced the amplitude of endplate potentials within 10 min exposure. The quantal content of endplate potentials was decreased to 58+/-6% of control after 30 min exposure to 800 nM Pa-1G. The toxin also caused a partial depolarisation of mouse muscle fibres within 60 min exposure. Extracellular recording of action potentials at motor nerve terminals showed that Pa-1G reduced the waveforms associated with both sodium and potassium conductances. To investigate whether this was a direct or indirect effect of the toxin on these ionic currents, whole cell patch clamp experiments were performed using human neuroblastoma (SK-N-SH) cells and B82 mouse fibroblasts stably transfected with rKv1.2. Patch clamp recording experiments confirmed that potassium currents sensitive to alpha-dendrotoxin recorded from B82 cells and sodium currents in SK-N-SH cells were not affected by the toxin. Since neither facilitation of acetylcholine release at mouse neuromuscular junction nor depression of potassium currents in B82 cells has been observed, the apparent blockade of potassium currents at mouse motor nerve endings induced by the toxin is unlikely to be due to a selective block of potassium channels.