Characterization of Intermediate Conductance $K^+$ Channels in Submandibular Gland Acinar Cells

  • Cho, Sung-Man (Department of Physiology, College of Dentistry, Seoul National University and Dental Research Institute) ;
  • Piao, Zheng-Gen (Department of Physiology, College of Dentistry, Seoul National University and Dental Research Institute) ;
  • Kim, Yoon-Bae (Department of Physiology, College of Dentistry, Seoul National University and Dental Research Institute) ;
  • Kim, Joong-Soo (Department of Physiology, College of Dentistry, Seoul National University and Dental Research Institute) ;
  • Park, Kyung-Pyo (Department of Physiology, College of Dentistry, Seoul National University and Dental Research Institute)
  • Published : 2002.12.21


There are some evidences that $K^+$ efflux evoked by muscarinic stimulation is not mainly mediated by large conductance $K^+$ (BK) channels in salivary gland. In this experiment, we therefore characterised non BK channels in rat submandibular gland acinar cells and examined the possibility of agonist effect on this channel using a patch clamp technique. Two types of $K^+$ channels were observed in these cells. BK channels were observed in 3 cells from total 6 cells and its average conductance was $152{\pm}7$ pS (n=3). The conductance of the another types of $K^+$ channel was estimated as $71{\pm}7$ pS (n=6). On the basis of the conductance of this channel, we defined this channel as intermediate conductance $K^+$ (IK) channels, which were observed from all 6 cells we studied. When we increased $Ca^{2+}$ concentration of the bath solution in inside-out mode, the IK channel activity was greatly increased, suggesting this channel is $Ca^{2+}$ sensitive. We next examined the effect of carbachol (CCh) and isoproterenol on the activity of the IK channels. $10^{-5}$ M isoproterenol significantly increased the open probability (Po) from $0.08{\pm}0.02$ to $0.21{\pm}0.03$ (n=4, P<0.05). Application of $10^{-5}$ M CCh also increased Po from $0.048{\pm}0.03$ to $0.55{\pm}0.33$ (n=5, P<0.05) at the maximum channel activity. The degree of BK channel activation induced by the same concentration of CCh was lower than that of IK channels; Po value was $0.011{\pm}0.003$ and $0.027{\pm}0.005$ in control and during CCh stimulation (n=3), respectively. The result suggests that IK channels exist in salivary acinar cells and its channel activity is regulated by muscaricinic and ${\beta}-adrenergic$ agonist. We conclude that IK channels also play a putative role in secretion as well as the BK channels in rat submandibular gland acinar cells.



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