The effect of extracellularly applied Cu2+ was studied on isolated intracellularly perfused Helix pomatia neurons. It was found that the Cu2+‐activated current (ICu) is biphasic and composed of overlapping outward and inward components. The outward component of ICu is the result of a blockade by Cu2+ of the steady‐state outward Cl− current. The inward component is assumed to flow through Ca2+‐activated non‐selective cationic channels. The washing‐out procedure resulted in a large inward current (Iw), which was composed of transient and steady‐state components. It is most likely that the activation of metabolic pumps is responsible for the transient component and the steady‐state component is the result of increased neuronal membrane permeability for Cl−. Moreover, both ICu and Iw were highly Ca2+ ‐ and temperature‐dependent processes. It is concluded that Cu2+ application resulted in complex permeability changes in the Helix pomatia neurons.
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