Spatial distribution of spermine/spermidine content and K(+)-current rectification in frog retinal glial (Müller) cells.

CMBN, Department of Biochemistry, School of Medicine, Universidad Central del Caribe, Bayamon, Puerto Rico.
Glia (Impact Factor: 5.47). 08/2000; 31(1):84-90. DOI: 10.1002/(SICI)1098-1136(200007)31:13.0.CO;2-7
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Previous studies in retinal glial (Müller) cells have suggested that (1) the dominant membrane currents are mediated by K(+) inward-rectifier (Kir) channels (Newman and Reichenbach, Trends Neurosci 19:307-312, 1996), and (2) rectification of these Kir channels is due largely to a block of outward currents by endogenous polyamines such as spermine/spermidine (SPM/SPD) (Lopatin et al., Nature 372:366-369, 1994). In frog Müller cells, the degree of rectification of Kir-mediated currents is significantly higher in the endfoot than in the somatic membrane (Skatchkov et al., Glia 27:171-181, 1999). This article shows that in these cells there is a topographical correlation between the local cytoplasmic SPM/SPD immunoreactivity and the ratio of inward to outward K(+) currents through the surrounding membrane area. Throughout the retina, Müller cell endfeet display a high SPM/SPD immunolabel (assessed by densitometry) and a large inward rectification of K(+) currents, as measured by the ratio of inward to outward current produced by step changes in [K(+)](o). In the retinal periphery, Müller cell somata are characterized by roughly one-half of the SPM/SPD immunoreactivity and K(+)-current rectification as the corresponding endfeet. In the retinal center, Müller cell somata are virtually devoid of both SPM/SPD immunolabel and K(+)-current inward rectification. Comparing one region of the retina with another, we find an exponential correlation between the local K(+) rectification and the local SPM/SPD content. This finding suggests that the degree of inward rectification in a given membrane area is determined by the local cytoplasmic polyamine concentration.

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