Sodium channels in dorsal root ganglion neurons

egordon at egordon at
Thu Oct 6 02:45:43 EST 1994

I am trying to write up an honours thesis, but have come up against some
rather fundamental questions....  

Could anyone inform me of the functional and/or evolutionary significance 
of the various subtypes of voltage-gated sodium channels (VGSC)?  In 
particular, what is the physiological significance of two types of VGSC 
I have seen reported to be in the rat dorsal root ganglion neurons - namely
VGSCs that are tetrodotoxin-sensitive (able to be blocked by tetrodotoxin)
and TTX-resistant (unaffected by tetrodotoxin)?  These two channel subtypes
have been well characterized, and exhibit very different gating kinetics,
yet I am unaware of why they are expressed in the same neurones.  Do they
have distinct physiological functions?  And are they differentially
affected by pharmacological agents and other neurotoxins?

Answers to _any_ of these questions would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks
in advance,
Tim Blanche
(Please reply to egordon at

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