Voltage-dependent ion channels in CAD cells: A catecholaminergic neuronal line that exhibits inducible differentiation

Haibin Wang, Gerry S. Oxford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Scopus citations


Cell lines derived from tumors engineered in the CNS offer promise as models of specific neuronal cell types. CAD cells are an unusual subclone of a murine cell line derived from tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) driven tumorigenesis, which undergoes reversible morphological differentiation on serum deprivation. Using single-cell electrophysiology we have examined the properties of ion channels expressed in CAD cells. Despite relatively low resting potentials, CAD cells can be induced to fire robust action potentials when mildly artificially hyperpolarized. Correspondingly, voltage-dependent sodium and potassium currents were elicited under voltage clamp. Sodium currents are TTX sensitive and exhibit conventional activation and inactivation properties. The potassium currents reflected two pharmacologically distinguishable populations of delayed rectifier type channels while no transient A-ype channels were observed. Using barium as a charge carrier, we observed an inactivating current that was completely blocked by nimodipine and thus associated with L-type calcium channels. On differentiation, three changes in functional channel expression occurred; a 4-fold decrease in sodium current density, a 1.5-fold increase in potassium current density, and the induction of a small noninactivating barium current component. The neuronal morphology, excitability properties, and changes in channel function with differentiation make CAD cells an attractive model for study of catecholaminergic neurons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2888-2895
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neurophysiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 27 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Physiology

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