Abstract Leech AP neurons react to axotomy by increasing excitability and resting potential of the cell body membrane. In a previous report we described single potassium channels contributing to the leak conductance in the soma membrane of AP cells. Here we compare both properties and density of single potassium leak channels in cell-free patches from normal and axotomized AP neurons. We show that properties such as single channel conductance, outward rectification, time constants of open and shut interval distributions and absence of inactivation do not significantly differ between normal and axotomized cells. On the other hand, we find that the number of channels per patch progressively increases with time after axotomy. We conclude that changes in density rather than alterations in properties of single channels can account for the increase in the resting potential, observed after axotomy.