Volume-sensitive chloride conductance in bovine chromaffin cell membrane

J Physiol. 1992 Apr;449:197-218. doi: 10.1113/jphysiol.1992.sp019082.


1. Bovine chromaffin cells were inflated by pressure applied through a pipette or swollen during intracellular perfusion with hypertonic solutions. Effects of such procedures on electrical properties of the membrane were studied by a combination of the tight-seal whole-cell patch-clamp technique and Fura-2 fluorescence measurements of free intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca2+]i). 2. Application of air pressure (about +5 cmH2O or 490 Pa) through the patch pipette caused an increase in the cell volume and concomitant development of an inwardly directed transient current at the holding potential of -60 mV. The current gradually increased to a peak value and subsequently decayed almost to its initial level within 5-10 min. A short pulse of pressure (5-10 s) was sufficient to elicit the whole sequence of events. 3. Intracellular free Ca2+ ion concentration, [Ca2+]i, steeply increased at the beginning of the pressure pulse to about 0.2 microM and either stayed at this level or decayed back to the more usual value of approximately 0.1 microM. 4. Similar changes in the transmembrane current and [Ca2+]i were observed during intracellular perfusion of cells with hypertonic solutions (30-50 mosM difference relative to the bath solution) or during extracellular application of hypotonic solution. 5. Swelling of non-perfused cells by extracellular application of hyposmotic solution caused the appearance of inward currents in cell-attached membrane patches held at a fixed potential -30 mV relative to the cell's resting potential. The kinetics of the current resembled those of the whole-cell current. 6. Intracellular introduction of guanosine triphosphate (GTP, 300 microM) significantly prolonged the duration (from 62 +/- 10 s, n = 5, to 98 +/- 8 s, n = 4, when measured at the level of half-amplitude), while introduction of the non-hydrolysable analogue of guanosine diphosphate (GDP), guanosine 5'-O-(2-thiodiphosphate) (GDP beta S, 300 microM), decreased the maximal rate of increase (from 11.4 +/- 2.6 pA/s, n = 6, to 3.2 +/- 2.1 pA/s, n = 10) of the current activated by pressure. 7. Lowering of the intracellular free Ca2+ ion concentration by introduction of 10 mM-EGTA did not significantly affect the current amplitude or time course. However, a rapid increase in the [Ca2+]i to micromolar levels (by activation of the voltage-operated calcium channels during membrane depolarization) could terminate development of the current activated by pressure and cause its fast decay to zero-current level.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 4,4'-Diisothiocyanostilbene-2,2'-Disulfonic Acid
  • 4-Acetamido-4'-isothiocyanatostilbene-2,2'-disulfonic Acid / analogs & derivatives
  • 4-Acetamido-4'-isothiocyanatostilbene-2,2'-disulfonic Acid / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Cattle
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chloride Channels
  • Chromaffin System / physiology
  • Membrane Potentials / drug effects
  • Membrane Potentials / physiology*
  • Membrane Proteins / drug effects
  • Membrane Proteins / physiology*
  • Pressure


  • Chloride Channels
  • Membrane Proteins
  • 4-Acetamido-4'-isothiocyanatostilbene-2,2'-disulfonic Acid
  • 4,4'-Diisothiocyanostilbene-2,2'-Disulfonic Acid
  • Calcium