Decrease in extracellular osmolarity ([Os]e) results in stimulation of hormone secretion from pituitary cells. Different mechanisms can account for this stimulation of hormone secretion. In this study we examined the possibility that hyposmolarity directly modulates voltage-gated calcium influx in pituitary cells. The effects of hyposmolarity on L-type (IL) and T-type (IT) calcium currents in pituitary cells were investigated by using two hyposmotic stimuli, moderate (18-22% decrease in [Os]e) and strong (31-32% decrease in [Os]e). Exposure to moderate hyposmotic stimuli resulted in three response types in IL (a decrease, a biphasic effect, and an increase in IL) and in increase in IT. Exposure to strong hyposmotic stimuli resulted only in increases in both IL and IT. Similarly, in intact pituitary cells (perforated patch method), exposure to either moderate or strong hyposmotic stimuli resulted only in increases in both IL and IT. Thus it appears that the main effect of decrease in [Os]e is increase in calcium channel currents. This increase was differential (IL were more sensitive than IT) and voltage independent. In addition, we show that these hyposmotic effects cannot be explained by activation of an anionic conductance or by an increase in cell membrane surface area. In conclusion, this study shows that hyposmotic swelling of pituitary cells can directly modulate voltage-gated calcium influx. This hyposmotic modulation of IL and IT may contribute to the previously reported hyposmotic stimulation of hormone secretion. The mechanisms underlying these hyposmotic effects and their possible physiological relevance are discussed.
"filtered at 1 kHz with a four-pole low pass Bessel filter as previously described in detail  . Final access resistance was usually <15 M. Linear leak currents were digitally subtracted using P/2 pulse protocols. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Voltage-gated calcium channels (VGCCs) are osmosensitive. The hypothesis that this property of VGCCs stems from their susceptibility to alterations in the mechanical properties of the bilayer was tested on VGCCs in pituitary cells using cone-shaped lysophospholipids (LPLs) to perturb bilayer lipid stress. LPLs of different head group size and charge were used: lysophosphatidylcholine (LPC), lysophosphatidylinositol (LPI), lysophosphatidylserine (LPS) and lysophosphatidylethanolamine (LPE). Phosphatidylcholine (PC) and LPC (C6:0) were used as controls. We show that partition of both LPC and LPI into the membrane of pituitary cells suppressed L-type calcium channel currents (I(L)). This suppression of I(L) was slow in onset, reversible upon washout with BSA and associated with a depolarizing shift in activation ( approximately 8mV). In contrast to these effects of LPC and LPI on I(L), LPS, LPE, PC and LPC (C6:0) exerted minimal or insignificant effects. This difference may be attributed to the prominent conical shape of LPC and LPI compared to the shapes of LPS and LPE (which have smaller headgroups), and to PC (which is cylindrical). The similar effects of LPC and LPI on I(L), despite differences in the structure and charge of their headgroups suggest a common lipid stress dependent mechanism in their action on VGCCs.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Increased extracellular osmolarity ([Os]e) suppresses stimulated hormone secretion from anterior pituitary cells. Ca2+ influx may mediate this effect. We show that increase in [Os]e (by 18-125%) differentially suppresses L-type and T-type Ca2+ channel currents (IL and IT, respectively); IL was more sensitive than IT. Hyperosmotic suppression of IL depended on the magnitude of increase in [Os]e and was correlated with the percent decrease in pituitary cell volume, suggesting that pituitary cell shrinkage can modulate L-type currents. The hyperosmotic suppression of IL and IT persisted after incubation of pituitary cells either with the actin-disrupter cytochalasin D or with the actin stabilizer phalloidin, suggesting that the actin cytoskeleton is not involved in this modulation. The hyperosmotic suppression of Ca2+ influx was not correlated with changes in reversal potential, membrane capacitance, and access resistance. Together, these results suggest that the hyperosmotic suppression of Ca2+ influx involves Ca2+ channel proteins. We therefore recorded the activity of L-type Ca2+ channels from cell-attached patches while exposing the cell outside the patch pipette to hyperosmotic media. Increased [Os]e reduced the activity of Ca2+ channels but did not change single-channel conductance. This hyperosmotic suppression of Ca2+ currents may therefore contribute to the previously reported hyperosmotic suppression of hormone secretion.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Description of the effects of hypotonic cell swelling and ethanol on maxi Ca2+-activated K+ channel (BK channel) activity and Cl- channel activity in GH4/C1 pituitary tumour cells.
Whole cell-, cell attached- and outside-out patch clamp measurements, fluorescence (fluo-3) measurements of intracellular Ca2+ concentration, cell size video monitoring.
GH4/C1 pituitary tumour cells respond to both hypotonicity and ethanol with cell swelling which is followed by a regulatory volume decrease (RVD). Tetraethylammonium and 4,4'-diisothiocyanatostilbene-2,2'-disulphonic acid (DIDS) induced cell swelling per se and inhibited hypotonicity induced RVD. Ethanol-induced swelling is paralleled by an increase in the intracellular Ca2+ concentration and augmented by DIDS. BK channel activation by hypotonicity and ethanol is demonstrated in patch clamp experiments both in intact cells (cell attached configuration) and a subset of excised membrane patches (outside-out configuration). Cell swelling and addition of ionomycin under isotonic conditions leads to the activation of outwardly rectifying Cl- currents with time dependent activation at positive potentials.
In GH4/C1 cells both hypotonicity and ethanol lead to cell swelling, RVD and to activation of BK channels. The hypotonicity-induced BK channel activation can also be observed in cell free outside-out patches. Hypotonicity, but not ethanol leads to the activation of Cl- channels with features of Ca2+-activated Cl- currents.
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