Membrane currents in canine bronchial artery and their regulation by excitatory agonists Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • The bronchial vasculature plays an important role in airway physiology and pathophysiology. We investigated the ion currents in canine bronchial smooth muscle cells using patch-clamp techniques. Sustained outward K(+) current evoked by step depolarizations was significantly inhibited by tetraethylamonium (1 and 10 mM) or by charybdotoxin (10(-6) M) but was not significantly affected by 4-aminopyridine (1 or 5 mM), suggesting that it was primarily a Ca(2+)-activated K(+) current. Consistent with this, the K(+) current was markedly increased by raising external Ca(2+) to 4 mM but was decreased by nifedipine (10(-6) M) or by removing external Ca(2+). When K(+) currents were blocked (by Cs(+) in the pipette), step depolarizations evoked transient inward currents with characteristics of L-type Ca(2+) current as follows: 1) activation that was voltage dependent (threshold and maximal at -50 and -10 mV, respectively); 2) inactivation that was time dependent and voltage dependent (voltage causing 50% maximal inactivation of -26 +/- 22 mV); and 3) blockade by nifedipine (10(-6) M). The thromboxane mimetic U-46619 (10(-6) M) caused a marked augmentation of outward K(+) current (as did 10 mM caffeine) lasting only 10-20 s; this was followed by significant suppression of the K(+) current lasting several minutes. Phenylephrine (10(-4) M) also suppressed the K(+) current to a similar degree but did not cause the initial transient augmentation. None of these three agonists elicited inward current of any kind. We conclude that bronchial arterial smooth muscle expresses Ca(2+)-dependent K(+) channels and voltage-dependent Ca(2+) channels and that its excitation does not involve activation of Cl(-) channels.

publication date

  • June 2002

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