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Open AccessArticle

Epsilon Toxin from Clostridium perfringens Causes Inhibition of Potassium inward Rectifier (Kir) Channels in Oligodendrocytes

1
Institut des Neurosciences Cellulaires et Intégratives, (INCI)-CNRS, UPR 3212 Strasbourg, France
2
Institut Pasteur, Bactéries Anaérobies et Toxines, 28 rue du Docteur Roux, Paris 75724, France
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Toxins 2020, 12(1), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins12010036
Received: 11 October 2019 / Revised: 20 December 2019 / Accepted: 4 January 2020 / Published: 6 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Clostridium Neurotoxins)
Epsilon toxin (ETX), produced by Clostridium perfringens types B and D, causes serious neurological disorders in animals. ETX can bind to the white matter of the brain and the oligodendrocytes, which are the cells forming the myelin sheath around neuron axons in the white matter of the central nervous system. After binding to oligodendrocytes, ETX causes demyelination in rat cerebellar slices. We further investigated the effects of ETX on cerebellar oligodendrocytes and found that ETX induced small transmembrane depolarization (by ~ +6.4 mV) in rat oligodendrocytes primary cultures. This was due to partial inhibition of the transmembrane inward rectifier potassium current (Kir). Of the two distinct types of Kir channel conductances (~25 pS and ~8.5 pS) recorded in rat oligodendrocytes, we found that ETX inhibited the large-conductance one. This inhibition did not require direct binding of ETX to a Kir channel. Most likely, the binding of ETX to its membrane receptor activates intracellular pathways that block the large conductance Kir channel activity in oligodendrocyte. Altogether, these findings and previous observations pinpoint oligodendrocytes as a major target for ETX. This supports the proposal that ETX might be a cause for Multiple Sclerosis, a disease characterized by myelin damage. View Full-Text
Keywords: oligodendrocyte; epsilon toxin; multiple sclerosis; myelin; inward rectifying potassium channel; Clostridium perfringens oligodendrocyte; epsilon toxin; multiple sclerosis; myelin; inward rectifying potassium channel; Clostridium perfringens
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Bossu, J.L.; Wioland, L.; Doussau, F.; Isope, P.; Popoff, M.R.; Poulain, B. Epsilon Toxin from Clostridium perfringens Causes Inhibition of Potassium inward Rectifier (Kir) Channels in Oligodendrocytes. Toxins 2020, 12, 36.

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