Multiple conductance states of single acetylcholine receptor channels in embryonic muscle cells

O. P. Hamill, B. Sakmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

183 Scopus citations

Abstract

Acetylcholine (ACh) activates in the synaptic membrane of skeletal muscle an inward current composed of many elementary currents1,2. High resolution current measurements in adult frog muscle have shown that the elementary current is a pulse-like event of unit amplitude, indicating that ACh opens ion channels which have only two conductance states, fully open or closed3. We now present evidence for a third conductance state. In the membrane of uninnervated embryonic rat muscle we observe that ACh activates two independent classes of currents of different amplitude and average duration, apparently arising from two populations of ACh receptor (AChR) channels. The currents from both classes show, at low incidence, transitions between a main level and a sublevel of lower amplitude. From this we conclude that AChR channels in embryonic muscle adopt, in addition to a "main" conductance state, a "substate" of lower conductance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)462-464
Number of pages3
JournalNature
Volume294
Issue number5840
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 1981
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Multiple conductance states of single acetylcholine receptor channels in embryonic muscle cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this