(1/84) Stretch-activated single K+ channels account for whole-cell currents elicited by swelling.

Functionally significant stretch-activated ion channels have been clearly identified in excitable cells. Although single-channel studies suggest their expression in other cell types, their activity in the whole-cell configuration has not been shown. This discrepancy makes their physiological significance doubtful and suggests that their mechanical activation is artifactual. Possible roles for these molecules in nonexcitable cells are acute cell-volume regulation and, in epithelial cells, the complex adjustment of ion fluxes across individual cell membranes when the rate of transepithelial transport changes. We report the results of experiments on isolated epithelial cells expressing in the basolateral membrane stretch-activated K+ channels demonstrable by the cell-attached patch-clamp technique. In these cells, reversible whole-cell currents were elicited by both isosmotic and hyposmotic cell swelling. Cation selectivity and block by inorganic agents were the same for single-channel and whole-cell currents, indicating that the same entity underlies single-channel and whole-cell currents and that the single-channel events are not artifactual. In these cells, when the rate of apical-membrane NaCl entry increases, the cell Na+ content and volume also increase, stimulating the Na+,K+-ATPase at the basolateral membrane, i.e., both Na+ extrusion and K+ uptake increase. We speculate that, under these conditions, the parallel activation of basolateral K+ channels (by the swelling) elevates conductive K+ loss, tending to maintain the cell K+ content constant ("pump-leak parallelism"). This study describes a physiologically relevant stretch-activated channel, at both the single-channel and whole-cell levels, in a nonneural cell type.  (+info)

(2/84) Volume regulatory responses of basolateral membrane vesicles from Necturus enterocytes: role of the cytoskeleton.

Previous studies from this laboratory have demonstrated that basolateral membrane vesicles isolated from Necturus maculosus small intestinal epithelial cells possess a K(+) channel that is inhibited by ATP. In the present studies, we demonstrate that these vesicles, which are essentially devoid of soluble cytoplasmic contaminants, exhibit volume regulatory responses that parallel those of intact epithelial cells. Thus, suspension of these vesicles in a solution that is hypotonic to the intravesicular solution increases channel activity whereas suspension in a solution that is hypertonic to the intravesicular solution decreases, and may abolish, channel activity. These volume regulatory responses appear to be mediated by the same K(ATP) channel and depend on an intact actin cytoskeletal network. The responses to both hypotonic and hypertonic challenge are abolished by cytochalasin D or by incubating the vesicles under conditions that are known to depolymerize actin. Phalloidin, which is known to stabilize actin filaments, partially prevents the action of cytochalasin D. Thus, the present results indicate that the K(ATP) channel activity of basolateral membrane vesicles from Necturus basolateral membranes respond to hypo- and hypertonic challenge monotonically around an isotonic "set point" and that these responses depend on an intact actin cytoskeleton.  (+info)

(3/84) Ca(2+)-induced Ca(2+) release activates spontaneous miniature outward currents (SMOCs) in parasympathetic cardiac neurons.

Mudpuppy parasympathetic cardiac neurons exhibit spontaneous miniature outward currents (SMOCs) that are thought to be due to the activation of clusters of large conductance Ca(2+)-activated K(+) channels (BK channels) by localized release of Ca(2+) from internal stores close to the plasma membrane. Perforated-patch whole cell recordings were used to determine whether Ca(2+)-induced Ca(2+) release (CICR) is involved in SMOC generation. We confirmed that BK channels are involved by showing that SMOCs are inhibited by 100 nM iberiotoxin or 500 microM tetraethylammonium (TEA), but not by 100 nM apamin. SMOC frequency is decreased in solutions that contain 0 Ca(2+)/3.6 mM Mg(2+), and also in the presence of 1 microM nifedipine and 3 microM omega-conotoxin GVIA, suggesting that SMOC activation is dependent on calcium influx. However, Ca(2+) influx alone is not sufficient; SMOC activation is also dependent on Ca(2+) release from the caffeine- and ryanodine-sensitive Ca(2+) store, because exposure to 2 mM caffeine consistently caused an increase in SMOC frequency, and 10-100 microM ryanodine altered the configuration of SMOCs and eventually inhibited SMOC activity. Depletion of intracellular Ca(2+) stores by the Ca-ATPase inhibitor cyclopiazonic acid (10 microM) inhibited SMOC activity, even when Ca(2+) influx was not compromised. We also tested the effects of the membrane-permeable Ca(2+) chelators, bis-(o-aminophenoxy)-N,N,N', N'-tetraacetic acid-AM (BAPTA-AM) and EGTA-AM. EGTA-AM (10 microM) caused no inhibition of SMOC activation, whereas 10 microM BAPTA-AM consistently inhibited SMOCs. After SMOCs were completely inhibited by BAPTA, 3 mM caffeine caused SMOC activity to resume. This effect was reversible on removal of caffeine and suggests that the source of Ca(2+) that triggers the internal Ca(2+) release channel is different from the source of Ca(2+) that activates clusters of BK channels. We propose that influx of Ca(2+) through voltage-dependent Ca(2+) channels is required for SMOC generation, but that the influx of Ca(2+) triggers CICR from intracellular stores, which then activates the BK channels responsible for SMOC generation.  (+info)

(4/84) IP(3)-Independent release of Ca(2+) from intracellular stores: A novel mechanism for transduction of bitter stimuli.

A variety of substances with different chemical structures elicits a bitter taste. Several different transduction mechanisms underlie detection of bitter tastants; however, these have been described in detail for only a few compounds. In addition, most studies have focused on mammalian taste cells, of which only a small subset is responsive to any particular bitter compound. In contrast, approximately 80% of the taste cells in the mudpuppy, Necturus maculosus, are bitter-responsive. In this study, we used Ca(2+) imaging and giga-seal whole cell recording to compare the transduction of dextromethorphan (DEX), a bitter antitussive, with transduction of the well-studied bitter compound denatonium. Bath perfusion of DEX (2.5 mM) increased the intracellular Ca(2+) level in most taste cells. The DEX-induced Ca(2+) increase was inhibited by thapsigargin, an inhibitor of Ca(2+) transport into intracellular stores, but not by U73122, an inhibitor of phospholipase C, or by ryanodine, an inhibitor of ryanodine-sensitive Ca(2+) stores. Increasing intracellular cAMP levels with a cell-permeant cAMP analogue and a phosphodiesterase inhibitor enhanced the DEX-induced Ca(2+) increase, which was inhibited partially by H89, a protein kinase A inhibitor. Electrophysiological measurements showed that DEX depolarized the membrane potential and inhibited voltage-gated Na(+) and K(+) currents in the presence of GDP-beta-S, a blocker of G-protein activation. DEX also inhibited voltage-gated Ca(2+) channels. We suggest that DEX, like quinine, depolarizes taste cells by block of voltage-gated K channels, which are localized to the apical membrane in mudpuppy. In addition, DEX causes release of Ca(2+) from intracellular stores by a phospholipase C-independent mechanism. We speculate that the membrane-permeant DEX may enter taste cells and interact directly with Ca(2+) stores. Comparing transduction of DEX with that of denatonium, both compounds release Ca(2+) from intracellular stores. However, denatonium requires activation of phospholipase C, and the mechanism results in a hyperpolarization rather than a depolarization of the membrane potential. These data support the hypothesis that single taste receptor cells can use multiple mechanisms for transducing the same bitter compound.  (+info)

(5/84) Neuromodulatory effects of gonadotropin releasing hormone on olfactory receptor neurons.

The terminal nerve is an anterior cranial nerve that innervates the lamina propria of the chemosensory epithelia of the nasal cavity. The function of the terminal nerve is ambiguous, but it has been suggested to serve a neuromodulatory role. We tested this hypothesis by exposing olfactory receptor neurons from mudpuppies (Necturus maculosus) to a peptide, gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH), that is found in cells and fibers of the terminal nerve. We used voltage-clamped whole-cell recordings to examine the effects of 0. 5-50 micrometer GnRH on voltage-activated currents in olfactory receptor neurons from epithelial slices. We found that GnRH increases the magnitude, but does not alter the kinetics, of a tetrodotoxin-sensitive inward current. This increase in magnitude generally begins 5-10 min after initial exposure to GnRH, is sustained for at least 60 min during GnRH exposure, and recovers to baseline within 5 min after GnRH is washed off. This effect occurred in almost 60% of the total number of olfactory receptor neurons examined and appeared to be seasonal: approximately 67% of neurons responded to GnRH during the courtship and mating season, compared with approximately 33% during the summer, when the sexes separate. GnRH also appears to alter an outward current in the same cells. Taken together, these data suggest that GnRH increases the excitability of olfactory receptor neurons and that the terminal nerve functions to modulate the odorant sensitivity of olfactory receptor neurons.  (+info)

(6/84) An In vitro assay useful to determine the potency of several bitter compounds.

Gustducin and transducin are guanine nucleotide binding regulatory proteins (G proteins) expressed in taste receptor cells and implicated in transducing taste cell responses to certain compounds that humans consider bitter or sweet. These G proteins can be activated in vitro by taste receptor-containing membranes plus any of several bitter compounds. This activation can be monitored using limited trypsin digestion, sodium dodecylsulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) and immunoblotting. Scanning of the autoradiograms enables one to quantitate the level of activation (defined as an activation index), obtain dose-response profiles and estimate the potency of the tastant. This assay may provide a useful substitute for, or adjunct to, the time-consuming human psychophysical analysis and costly animal studies typically used in taste sensory analysis. It may be used to identify and determine the concentration-response function of many bitter components of oral pharmaceuticals and food ingredients. A potential limitation of the assay is that only about half of all bitter compounds tested demonstrated in vitro activity, perhaps due to the presence of multiple transduction pathways. Nevertheless, the rapid throughput and microsample handling capability of this assay make it an ideal method to screen for high-potency bitterness inhibitors.  (+info)

(7/84) Presence of the vomeronasal system in aquatic salamanders.

Previous reports have indicated that members of the proteid family of salamanders lack a vomeronasal system, and this absence has been interpreted as representing the ancestral condition for aquatic amphibians. I examined the anatomy of the nasal cavities, nasal epithelia, and forebrains of members of the proteid family, mudpuppies (Necturus maculosus), as well as members of the amphiumid and sirenid families (Amphiuma tridactylum and Siren intermedia). Using a combination of light and transmission electron microscopy, I found no evidence that mudpuppies possess a vomeronasal system, but found that amphiuma and sirens possess both vomeronasal and olfactory systems. Amphiumids and sirenids are considered to be outgroups relative to proteids; therefore, these data indicate that the vomeronasal system is generally present in salamanders and has been lost in mudpuppies. Given that the vomeronasal system is generally present in aquatic amphibians, and that the last common ancestor of amphibians and amniotes is believed to have been fully aquatic, I conclude that the vomeronasal system arose in aquatic tetrapods and did not originate as an adaptation to terrestrial life. This conclusion has important implications for the hypothesis that the vomeronasal organ is specialized for detection of non-volatile compounds.  (+info)

(8/84) Localization of neurotransmitters and calcium binding proteins to neurons of salamander and mudpuppy retinas.

We wished to identify the different types of retinal neurons on the basis of their content of neuroactive substances in both larval tiger salamander and mudpuppy retinas, favored species for electrophysiological investigation. Sections and wholemounts of retinas were labeled by immunocytochemical methods to demonstrate three calcium binding protein species and the common neurotransmitters, glycine, GABA and acetylcholine. Double immunostained sections and single labeled wholemount retinas were examined by confocal microscopy. Immunostaining patterns appeared to be the same in salamander and mudpuppy. Double and single cones, horizontal cells, some amacrine cells and ganglion cells were strongly calbindin-immunoreactive (IR). Calbindin-IR horizontal cells colocalized GABA. Many bipolar cells, horizontal cells, some amacrine cells and ganglion cells were strongly calretinin-IR. One type of horizontal cell and an infrequently occurring amacrine cell were parvalbumin-IR. Acetylcholine as visualized by ChAT-immunoreactivity was seen in a mirror-symmetric pair of amacrine cells that colocalized GABA and glycine. Glycine and GABA colocalized with calretinin, calbindin and occasionally with parvalbumin in amacrine cells.  (+info)