Potassium channels are ubiquitous in cells and serve essential functions in physiology and pathophysiology. Potassium channel blockers have been shown to block tumour growth by arresting cells at the G0/G1 checkpoint of the cell cycle. We investigated the effect of quinidine and caesium (Cs+) on cell proliferation, LDH (lactate dehydrogenase) release, free internal calcium, membrane potential, polyamine concentration, ODC (ornithine decarboxylase) activity and polyamine uptake in C6 glioma cells. The EC50 for reducing cell proliferation was 112 μM for quinidine, whereas Cs+ was less effective with an EC50 of 4.75 mM. KCl or sucrose did not affect proliferation. LDH release was augmented by quinidine. Quinidine caused a transient increase in free internal calcium but decreased calcium after a 48 h incubation period. Further 300 μM quinidine depolarized the cell membrane in a similar range as did 30 mM KCl. Quinidine decreased cellular putrescine beyond detection levels while spermidine and spermine remained unaffected. ODC activity was reduced. Addition of putrescine could not override the antiproliferative effect owing to a reduced activity of the polyamine transporter. Our study indicates that the antiproliferative effect of quinidine is not due to a simple membrane depolarization but is caused by a block of ODC activity.

You do not currently have access to this content.