TRPV4 Stimulation Releases ATP via Pannexin Channels in Human Pulmonary Fibroblasts
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We previously described several ionic conductances in human pulmonary fibroblasts, including one activated by two structurally distinct TRPV4 (transient receptor potential, vanilloid-type, subtype 4)-channel agonists: 4αPDD (4α-phorbol-12,13-didecanoate) and GSK1016790A. However, the TRPV4-activated current exhibited peculiar properties: it developed slowly over many minutes, exhibited reversal potentials that could vary by tens of millivolts even within a given cell, and was not easily reversed by subsequent addition of two distinct TRPV4-selective blockers (RN-1734 and HC-067047). In this study, we characterized that conductance more carefully. We found that 4αPDD stimulated a delayed release of ATP into the extracellular space, which was reduced by genetic silencing of pannexin expression, and that the 4αPDD-evoked current could be blocked by apyrase (which rapidly degrades ATP) or by the P2Y purinergic receptor/channel blocker pyridoxalphosphate-6-azophenyl-2',4'-disulphonic acid (PPADS), and could be mimicked by exogenous addition of ATP. In addition, we found that the 4αPDD-evoked current was blocked by pretreatment with RN-1734 or HC-067047, by Gd3+ or La3+, or by two distinct blockers of pannexin channels (carbenoxolone and probenecid), but not by a blocker of connexin hemichannels (flufenamic acid). We also found expression of TRPV4- and pannexin-channel proteins. 4αPDD markedly increased calcium flashing in our cells. The latter was abrogated by the P2Y channel blocker PPADS, and the 4αPDD-evoked current was eliminated by loading the cytosol with 1,2-bis(o-aminophenoxy)ethane-N,N,N',N'-tetraacetic acid or by inhibiting Ca2+/calmodulin-sensitive kinase II using KN93. Altogether, we interpret these findings as suggesting that 4αPDD triggers the release of ATP via pannexin channels, which in turn acts in an autocrine and/or paracrine fashion to stimulate PPADS-sensitive purinergic receptors on human pulmonary fibroblasts.
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