Using Automated Patch Clamp Technology to Assess VGCC Function and Modulation by Cannabinoids
ICMS 2023 USA
There is mounting evidence that cannabinoids can be used to treat harmful neurological conditions like epilepsy and autism. One means by which cannabinoids are thought to exert their therapeutic benefits is through the manipulation of ion channels. Voltage-gated calcium channels (VGCCs), for instance, play important roles in neurotransmitter release, synaptic transmission, and neural plasticity and thus represent a major therapeutic target for many neurological diseases. Multiple types of cannabinoids are thought to interact with and inhibit VGCCs, but there are still many questions regarding the cellular and molecular mechanisms of these interactions and the efficacy of cannabinoids (especially rare cannabinoids and synthetically created cannabinoids) in modulating ion channel function. With the goal of determining how rare cannabinoids and synthetic cannabinoids can modulate VGCC function, Sophion Bioscience has partnered with the Bladen Lab to optimize an assay which uses automated patch clamp (APC) electrophysiology to measure T-type VGCC currents in HEK293 cells. We show that Sophion’s QPatch Compact automated patch clamp robot can reliably record currents from up to eight cells in parallel. We demonstrate that these currents follow biophysical characteristics as described in the literature and are sensitive to drugs that interfere with VGCC function. By understanding how T-type VGCCs are modulated by rare and synthetic cannabinoids, we hope to aid in the creation and characterization of cannabinoid drugs that could potentially be used to treat conditions like epilepsy.