NMDA Receptor-Mediated K+ Efflux and Neuronal Apoptosis

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  09 Apr 1999:
Vol. 284, Issue 5412, pp. 336-339
DOI: 10.1126/science.284.5412.336

You are currently viewing the abstract.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution


Neuronal death induced by activatingN-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptors has been linked to Ca2+ and Na+ influx through associated channels. Whole-cell recording from cultured mouse cortical neurons revealed a NMDA-evoked outward current,I NMDA-K, carried by K+ efflux at membrane potentials positive to –86 millivolts. Cortical neurons exposed to NMDA in medium containing reduced Na+ and Ca2+ (as found in ischemic brain tissue) lost substantial intracellular K+ and underwent apoptosis. Both K+ loss and apoptosis were attenuated by increasing extracellular K+, even when voltage-gated Ca2+channels were blocked. Thus NMDA receptor–mediated K+efflux may contribute to neuronal apoptosis after brain ischemia.

  • * These authors contributed equally to this work.

  • To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: choid{at}

View Full Text

Stay Connected to Science