Neurochemical Research

, 34:2233 | Cite as

Sodium Metabisulfite Modulation of Potassium Channels in Pain-Sensing Dorsal Root Ganglion Neurons

  • Aifang Nie
  • Cailing Wei
  • Ziqiang Meng
Original Paper


The effects of sodium metabisulfite (SMB), a general food preservative, on potassium currents in rat dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons were investigated using the whole-cell patch-clamp technique. SMB increased the amplitudes of both transient outward potassium currents and delayed rectifier potassium current in concentration- and voltage-dependent manner. The transient outward potassium currents (TOCs) include a fast inactivating (A-current or I A) current and a slow inactivating (D-current or I D) current. SMB majorly increased IA, and ID was little affected. SMB did not affect the activation process of transient outward currents (TOCs), but the inactivation curve of TOCs was shifted to more positive potentials. The inactivation time constants of TOCs were also increased by SMB. For delayed rectifier potassium current (I K), SMB shifted the activation curve to hyperpolarizing direction. SMB differently affected TOCs and I K, its effects major on A-type K+ channels, which play a role in adjusting pain sensitivity in response to peripheral redox conditions. SMB did not increase TOCs and I K when adding DTT in pipette solution. These results suggested that SMB might oxidize potassium channels, which relate to adjusting pain sensitivity in pain-sensing DRG neurons.


Sodium metabisulfite Dorsal root ganglion neurons Potassium currents Whole-cell patch clamp 



This study was supported by Grants from National Natural Science Foundation of China (No.30800535 and No.20677035) and Young Fund from Shanghai Health Bureau (2008Y042).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Shanghai Clinical Center for Endocrine and Metabolic Disease, Shanghai Institute of Endocrine and Metabolic Disease, Department of Endocrine and Metabolic Disease, Ruijin HospitalShanghai JiaoTong University School of MedicineShanghaiChina
  2. 2.Institute of Environmental Medicine and ToxicologyShanxi UniversityTaiyuanChina

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