Effects of norfluoxetine, the major metabolite of fluoxetine, on the cloned neuronal potassium channel Kv3.1

Bok Hee Choi, Jin Sung Choi, Shin Hee Yoon, Duck Joo Rhie, Do Sik Min, Yang Hyeok Jo, Myung Suk Kim, Sang June Hahn

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The effects of fluoxetine and its major metabolite, norfluoxetine, were studied using the patch-clamp technique on the cloned neuronal rat K+ channel Kv3.1, expressed in Chinese hamster ovary cells. In whole-cell recordings, fluoxetine and norfluoxetine inhibited Kv3.1 currents in a reversible concentration-dependent manner, with an IC50 value and a Hill coefficient of 13.11±0.91 μM and 1.33±0.08 for fluoxetine and 0.80±0.06 μM and 1.65±0.08 for norfluoxetine at +40 mV, respectively. In inside-out patches, norfluoxetine applied to the cytoplasmic surface inhibited Kv3.1 with an IC50 value of 0.19±0.01 μM. The inhibition of Kv3.1 currents by both drugs was characterized by an acceleration in the apparent rate of current decay, without modification of the activation time course and with relatively fewer effects on peak amplitude. The degree of inhibition of Kv3.1 by norfluoxetine was voltage-dependent. The inhibition increased steeply between 0 and +30 mV, which corresponded with the voltage range for channel opening. In the voltage range positive to +30 mV, inhibition displayed a weak voltage dependence, consistent with an electrical distance δ of 0.31±0.05. The association (k+1) and dissociation (k-1) rate constants for norfluoxetine-induced inhibition of Kv3.1 were 21.70±3.39 μM-1 s-1 and 14.68±3.94 s-1, respectively. The theoretical KD value derived by k-1/k+1 yielded 0.68 μM. Norfluoxetine did not affect the ion selectivity of Kv3.1. The reversal potential under control conditions was about -85 mV and was not affected by norfluoxetine. Norfluoxetine slowed the deactivation time course, resulting in a tail crossover phenomenon when the tail currents, recorded in the presence and absence of norfluoxetine, were superimposed. The voltage dependence of steady-state inactivation was not changed by the drug. Norfluoxetine produced use-dependent inhibition of Kv3.1 at a frequency of 1 Hz and slowed the recovery from inactivation. It is concluded that at clinically relevant concentrations, both fluoxetine and its major metabolite norfluoxetine inhibit Kv3.1, and that norfluoxetine directly inhibits Kv3.1 as an open channel blocker.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)443-453
Number of pages11
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2001

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Dr. Leonard Kaczmarek (Yale University School of Medicine, USA) for the Kv3.1b cDNA. This work was supported by a Korea Research Foundation Grant (KRF-2000-015-FP0026).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmacology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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