O2−sensitive K+channels in immortalised rat chromaffin‐cell‐derived MAH cells
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The regulation of K(+) channels by O(2) levels is a key link between hypoxia and neurotransmitter release in neuroendocrine cells. Here, we examined the effects of hypoxia on K(+) channels in the immortalised v-myc, adrenal-derived HNK1(+) (MAH) cell line. MAH cells possess a K(+) conductance that is sensitive to Cd(2+), iberiotoxin and apamin, and which is inhibited by ~24 % when exposed to a hypoxic perfusate (O(2) tension 20 mmHg). This conductance was attributed to high-conductance Ca(2+)-activated K(+) (BK) and small-conductance Ca(2+)-activated K(+) (SK) channels, which are major contributors to the O(2)-sensitive K(+) conductance in adrenomedullary chromaffin cells. Under low [Ca(2+)](i) conditions that prevented activation of Ca(2+)-dependent K(+) conductances, a rapidly activating and slowly inactivating K(+) conductance, sensitive to both TEA and 4-aminopyridine (4-AP), but insensitive to 100 nM charybdotoxin (CTX), was identified. This current was also reduced (by ~25 %) when exposed to hypoxia. The hypoxia-sensitive component of this current was greatly attenuated by 10 mM 4-AP, but was only slightly reduced by 10 mM TEA. This suggests the presence of delayed-rectifier O(2)-sensitive channels comprising homomultimeric Kv1.5 or heteromultimeric Kv1.5/Kv1.2 channel subunits. The presence of both Kv1.5 and Kv1.2 alpha-subunits was confirmed using immunocytochemical techniques. We also demonstrated that these K(+) channel subunits are present in neonatal rat adrenomedullary chromaffin cells in situ. These data indicate that MAH cells possess O(2)-sensitive K(+) channels with characteristics similar to those observed previously in isolated chromaffin cells, and therefore provide an excellent model for examining the cellular mechanisms of O(2) sensing in adrenomedullary chromaffin cells.
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