Use of ionic currents to identify and estimate parameters in models of channel blockade.
Models of ion channel blockade are frequently validated with observations of ionic currents resulting from electrical or chemical stimulation. Model parameters for some models (modulated receptor hypothesis) cannot be uniquely determined from ionic currents. The time course of ionic currents reflects the activation (fraction of available channels that conduct in the presence of excitation) and availability of channels (the ability of the protein to make a transition to a conducting conformation and where this conformation is not complexed with a drug). In the presence of a channel blocking agent, the voltage dependence of availability appears modified and has been interpreted as evidence that drug-complexed channels exhibit modified transition rates between channel protein conformations. Because blockade and availability both modify ionic currents, their individual contributions to macroscopic conductance cannot be resolved from ionic currents except when constant affinity binding to a bindable site is assumed. Experimental studies of nimodipine block of calcium channels and lidocaine block of sodium channels illustrate these concepts.
Starmer, CF; Nesterenko, VV; Gilliam, FR; Grant, AO
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