Journal of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology vol. 29, no. 2, pp. 151 - 155
To swimming motor neurons (SMNs) of Polyorchis penicillatus, a hydrozoan medusae, dopamine (DA) acts as an inhibitory neurotransmitter by hyperpolarizing its membrane potential and decreasing its firing rate as well. Such an inhibitory action of DA is caused by an increased permeability to potassium (K) ions. To investigate whether voltage-gated K channels are directly responsible for the membrane hyperpolarization induced by DA, we employed whole-cell voltage clamp configuration. One μM DA applied to SMNs increased the peak and rear values of voltage-gated K currents by 37 and 54%, respectively, in a reversible manner. Combined with subtraction analysis, this result suggests that the outflux of K ions by DA in SMNs occurs mainly through rectifier-like K channels.