Electrophysiological characterization of voltage-dependent calcium currents and TRPV4 currents in human pulmonary fibroblasts
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We have presented indirect evidence of a key role for voltage-dependent Ca(2+) currents in TGFβ-induced synthetic function in human pulmonary fibroblast (HPF), as well as in bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis in mice. Others, however, have provided indirect evidence for transient receptor potential vanilloid 4 (TRPV4) channels in both of those effects. Unfortunately, definitive electrophysiological descriptions of both currents in HPFs have been entirely lacking. In this study, we provide the first direct electrophysiological and pharmacological evidence of the currents in HPFs at rest and during overnight stimulation with TGFβ. These currents include a Ca(2+)-dependent K(+) current, a TRPV4 current, a chloride current, and an L-type voltage-dependent Ca(2+) current. Evidence for the TRPV4 current include activation of a large-conductance change by two putatively TRPV4-selective agonists (4α-phorbol-12,13-didecanoate; GSK1016790A), with a reversal potential near 0 mV, partial sensitivity to two different TRPV4-selective blockers (RN1734; HC067047), and partial reduction following removal of external Na(+) Substantial reduction of the evoked current was seen following the coapplication of RN1734, DIDS, and niflumic acid, suggesting that a chloride current is also involved. The voltage-dependent Ca(2+) current is found to be "L-type" in nature, as indicated by the voltage and time dependence of its activation, deactivation, and inactivation properties, and by its pharmacology (sensitivity to replacement with barium and inhibition by nifedipine, verapamil, or mibefradil). We also found that overnight treatment with TGFβ evoked a periodic current (inward at negative holding potentials, with reversal potential near 0 mV), which is sufficient to trigger the voltage-dependent Ca(2+) currents and, thereby, account for the rhythmic Ca(2+) oscillations, which we have described previously in these cells.
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