Batrachotoxin block of fast axoplasmic transport in mammalian nerve fibers

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Science  21 Mar 1975:
Vol. 187, Issue 4181, pp. 1087-1089
DOI: 10.1126/science.46619


Batrachotoxin (BTX) irreversibly blocks fast axoplasmic transport in nerve in concentrations as low as 0.2 micromolar. The action of BTX was studied in cat sciatic nerves in vitro by measuring the rate of the crest outflow after injection of the L7 dorsal root ganglion with [3-H]leucine. Tetrodotoxin, which in itself does not affect fast axoplasmic transport, inhibited the blocking action of BTX. Unlike the BTX block of nerve and muscle membrane excitability brought about through increased permeability to sodium ion, the BTX block of fast axoplasmic transport occurs with or without sodium ion in the medium. High concentrations of calcium ion protected against the blocking action of BTX, while magnesium ion did not. An action of BTX on the transport mechanism inside the fibers was indicated by the small reduction of adenosine triphosphate plus creatine phosphate, which in itself did not account for the block of axoplasmic transport.