Iptakalim modulates ATP-sensitive K+ channels in dopamine neurons from rat substantia nigra pars compacta

Jie Wu, Jun Hu, Yu Ping Chen, Teruko Takeo, Sechiko Suga, Jamie DeChon, Qiang Liu, Ke Chun Yang, Paul A St John, Gang Hu, Hai Wang, Makoto Wakui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Iptakalim, a novel cardiovascular ATP-sensitive K+ (K ATP) channel opener, exerts neuroprotective effects on dopaminergic (DA) neurons against metabolic stress-induced neurotoxicity, but the mechanisms are largely unknown. Here, we examined the effects of iptakalim on functional KATP channels in the plasma membrane (pm) and mitochondrial membrane using patch-clamp and fluorescence-imaging techniques. In identified DA neurons acutely dissociated from rat substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc), both the mitochondrial metabolic inhibitor rotenone and the sulfonylurea receptor subtype (SUR) 1-selective KATP channel opener (KCO) diazoxide induced neuronal hyperpolarization and abolished action potential firing, but the SUR2B-selective KCO cromakalim exerted little effect, suggesting that functional KATP channels in rat SNc DA neurons are mainly composed of SUR1. Immunocytochemical staining showed a SUR1- rather than a SUR2B-positive reaction in most dissociated DA neurons. At concentrations between 3 and 300 μM, iptakalim failed to hyperpolarize DA neurons; however, 300 μM iptakalim increased neuronal firing. In addition, iptakalim restored DA neuronal firing during rotenone-induced hyperpolarization and suppressed rotenone-induced outward current, suggesting that high concentrations of iptakalim close neuronal KATP channels. Furthermore, in human embryonic kidney 293 cells, iptakalim (300-500 μM) closed diazoxide-induced Kir6.2/SUR1 KATP channels, which were heterologously expressed. In rhodamine-123-preloaded DA neurons, iptakalim neither depolarized mitochondrial membrane nor prevented rotenone-induced mitochondrial depolarization. These data indicate that iptakalim is not a KATP channel opener in rat SNc DA neurons; instead, iptakalim is a pm-KATP channel closer at high concentrations. These effects of iptakalim stimulate further pharmacological investigation and the development of possible therapeutic applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-164
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology


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