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DC-Evoked Modulation of Excitability of Myelinated Nerve Fibers and Their Terminal Branches; Differences in Sustained Effects of DC

Journal article
Authors Dominik Kaczmarek
E. Jankowska
Published in Neuroscience
Volume 374
Pages 236-249
ISSN 0306-4522
Publication year 2018
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology
Pages 236-249
Language en
Keywords myelinated nerve fibers, spinal cord, epidural stimulation, DC polarization, plasticity, direct-current stimulation, ii muscle afferents, cat spinal-cord, motor, axons, k+ channel, in-vitro, 4-aminopyridine, transmission, polarization, potentials, Neurosciences & Neurology
Subject categories Neuroscience, Neurology


Direct current (DC) evokes long-lasting changes in neuronal networks both presynaptically and postsynaptically and different mechanisms were proposed to be involved in them. Different mechanisms were also suggested to account for the different dynamics of presynaptic DC actions on myelinated nerve fibers stimulated before they entered the spinal gray matter and on their terminal branches. The aim of the present study was to examine whether these different dynamics might be related to differences in the involvement of K+ channels. To this end, we compared effects of the K+ channel blocker 4-amino-pyridine (4-AP) on DC-evoked changes in the excitability of afferent fibers stimulated within the dorsal columns (epidurally) and within their projection areas in the dorsal horn and motor nuclei (intraspinally). 4-AP was applied systemically in deeply anesthetized rats. DC-evoked increases in the excitability of epidurally stimulated afferent nerve fibers, and increases in field potentials evoked by these fibers, were not affected by 4-AP. In contrast, sustained decreases rather than increases in the excitability of intraspinally stimulated terminal nerve branches were evoked by local application of DC in conjunction with 4-AP. The study leads to the conclusion that 4-AP-sensitive K+ channels contribute to the sustained DC-evoked post-polarization increases in the excitability at the level of terminal branches of nerve fibers but not of the nodes of Ranvier nor within the juxta-paranodal regions where other mechanisms would be involved in inducing the sustained DC-evoked changes. (C) 2018 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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