Voltage-Dependent Calcium Current and the Effects of Adrenergic Modulation in Rat Aortic Smooth Muscle Cells
Smooth muscle cells from rat aorta were cultured in defined, serum-free medium and studied using whole-cell patch-clamp techniques. Under conditions designed to isolate currents through Ca channels, step depolarizations produced inward currents which were fast in onset and inactivated rapidly, with little sustained inward current being observed. Both Ni and Cd blocked these currents, with Ni being effective at 50 μ M. Removal of external Na or addition of 1 μ M tetrodotoxin had no effect. Peak inward currents were attained at about -15 mV, with half-maximal activation at -41 mV using -80 mV holding potentials. The transient inward currents were reduced by depolarized holding potentials, with half-maximal steady-state inactivation at -48 mV. In three of the 98 cells studied, small maintained inward currents were observed with a -40 mV holding potential. The Ca channel antagonist nicardipine (5 μ M) blocked the transient inward current while neither of the dihydropyridine Ca channel agonists S(+)202 791 and (-)BAY K 8644 produced a significant augmentation of sustained inward current. At 10 μ M, both noradrenaline and adrenaline but not phenylephrine decreased the peak inward current. This inhibition was unaffected by a variety of adrenoceptor antagonists and was also observed when internal solutions having high Ca buffering capacity were used, but was absent when GDP-β -S instead of GTP was included in the pipette solution. The main conclusions from this study are that under our cell culture conditions, rat aortic smooth muscle cells possess predominately a transient, low-threshold-activated inward Ca current and that this Ca current is inhibited by certain adrenoceptor agonists but with a quite atypical adrenoceptor antagonist pharmacology.
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London Series B
- Pub Date:
- July 1992