Differential sensitivity of tetrodotoxin-sensitive and tetrodotoxin-resistant sodium channels to the insecticide allethrin in rat dorsal root ganglion neurons

Kenneth S Ginsburg, Toshio Narahashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

52 Scopus citations


The pyrethroid insecticides are known to modify neuronal sodium channels to cause a prolongation of whole cell current. The sodium channels expressed in the dorsal root ganglion neurons of the rat are of two types, one highly sensitive to tetrodotoxin and the other highly resistant to tetrodotoxin. The pyrethroid allethrin exerted profound effects on tetrodotoxin-resistant sodium channels while causing minimal effects on tetrodotoxin-sensitive sodium channels. Currents derived from tetrodotoxin-resistant sodium channels were greatly prolonged during a step depolarization; the tail currents upon repolarization were also augmented and prolonged. In the tetrodotoxin-sensitive sodium channel currents, these changes caused by allethrin were much smaller or negligible. The activation and inactivation voltages of tetrodotoxin-resistant peak sodium currents were not significantly altered by allethrin. The differential action of allethrin on the two types of sodium channels would be important not only in identifying the target molecular structure but also in interpreting the symptoms of poisoning in mammals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)239-248
Number of pages10
JournalBrain Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 12 1993
Externally publishedYes



  • Allethrin
  • Dorsal root ganglion
  • Insecticide
  • Pyrethroid
  • Sodium channel
  • Tetrodotoxin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this