Characterization of K currents in cultured human corporal smooth muscle cells

G. J. Christ, David C. Spray, P. R. Brink

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

67 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In order to gain more mechanistic insight into the regulation of corporal smooth muscle tone, we conducted electrophysiological studies on homogeneous explant cell cultures of human corpus cavernosum smooth muscle. Patch clamp analyses in the whole cell mode revealed a mean resting potential of -43 ± 4.9 m V (n = 12 cells). Large whole cell outward K currents were very prominent in these cells, and ranged from 0.5 to 1.5 nA. In some cells, a transient, voltage-dependent A current accounted for a significant portion of the observed whole cell currents. Furthermore, stimulation with the calcium channel agonist BAY K 8644 or the K channel agonist pinacidil doubled the magnitude of the whole cell K current, as would be expected for maxi-K (K(Ca)) and metabolically gated K channels (K(ATP)), respectively. Single channel recordings in the detached patch mode consistently revealed the presence of at least two K channels: 1) a K(Ca) channel, with a conductance of ≃190 pS; and 2) a putative delayed rectifier channel with a conductance of ≃50 pS. Furthermore, all channel types showed some degree of voltage and/or calcium sensitivity. In conclusion, the large magnitude of the whole cell K currents and the observed K channel heterogeneity indicate a potentially important role for these channels in modulating corporal smooth muscle tone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)319-328
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Andrology
Volume14
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1993

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Smooth Muscle Myocytes
Smooth Muscle
Calcium Channel Agonists
Pinacidil
Membrane Potentials
Cell Culture Techniques
Adenosine Triphosphate
Calcium

Keywords

  • electrophysiology
  • erectile physiology
  • Human corpus cavernosum
  • K channels
  • maxi-K channel
  • patch clamp studies
  • pinacidil
  • vascular smooth muscle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology

Cite this

Characterization of K currents in cultured human corporal smooth muscle cells. / Christ, G. J.; Spray, David C.; Brink, P. R.

In: Journal of Andrology, Vol. 14, No. 5, 1993, p. 319-328.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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