An endogenous inactivating inward-rectifying potassium current in oocytes of Xenopus laevis

Christiane K. Bauer, Torsten Falk, Jürgen R. Schwarz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


An endogenous inward-rectifying K+ current is described, which is present in native oocytes of some Xenopus laevis donors. Experiments were performed using defolliculated oocytes from donor frogs obtained from two different suppliers. In all oocytes from animals from one source, an inward-rectifying K+-current could be elicited with negative pulses from a holding potential of -20 mV in external solutions with a high K+ concentration. Increasing external K+ concentrations increased the amplitude of this current and shifted the reversal potential towards more positive potentials. In 118 mM KCl, the inward-rectifying K+-current partially inactivated between -20 and -80 mV and completely inactivated at more negative membrane potentials; 50% steady-state inactivation occurred near -50 mV. The time course of inactivation of-the inward-rectifying current could be well fitted with two exponentials. The slow time constant had values of about 500 ms and was voltage independent. In contrast, the fast time constant and the time to reach the peak inward current decreased with more negative membrane potentials. Ba2+, Cs+, quinine (all 5 mM) and 50 mM tetraethylammonium partially blocked the inward-rectifying K+-current, whereas 10 mM 4-aminopyridine was without blocking effect. The oxidant chlorampine-T blocked the inward-rectifying K+ current without slowing its inactivation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)812-820
Number of pages9
JournalPflugers Archiv European Journal of Physiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1996


  • Endogenous ion channels
  • Inward rectifier
  • K current
  • Oocytes of Xenopus laevis
  • Voltage clamp

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Physiology (medical)


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