Ionic channels in human cortical neurons have not been studied extensively. HCN‐1 and HCN‐1A cells, which recently were established as continuous cultures from human cortical tissue, have been shown by histochemical and immunochemical methods to exhibit a neuronal phenotype, but expression of functional ionic channels was not demonstrated. For the present study, HCN‐1 and HCN‐1A cells were cultured in Dulbecco's modified Eagle's medium with 15% fetal calf serum, in some cases supplemented with 10 ng/ml nerve growth factor, 10 μM forskolin, and 1 mM dibutyryl cyclic adenosine monophosphate to promote differentiation. Cells or membrane patches were voltage clamped using conventional patch clamp techniques. In HCN‐1A cells, we identified a tetrodotoxin‐sensitive Na+ current, two types of Ca2+ channel current, including L‐type current and a second type that in some respects resembled N‐type current, and four types of K+ current, including a delayed outward rectifier that showed voltage‐dependent inactivation, two types of noninactivating Ca2+‐activated K+ channels with slope conductances of 146 and 23 pS (K+iK+o 145 mM/5 mM), and less frequently, a noninactivating, intermediate conductance channel that was not sensitive to internal Ca2+. When HCN‐1A cells were examined after 3 days of exposure to differentiating agents, pronounced morphological changes were evident but no differences in ionic currents were apparent. HCN‐1 cells also exhibited K+ and Ca2+ channel currents, but Na+ currents were not detected in these cells. Our data provide additional evidence indicating a functional neuronal phenotype for HCN‐1A cells, and represent the most comprehensive survey to date of the variety of ionic channels expressed by human cortical neurons. © 1993 Wiley‐Liss, Inc.
- Ca channel
- K channel
- Na channel
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience