Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids--modulation of voltage-dependent L-type Ca2+ current in guinea-pig tracheal smooth muscle cells.
ABSTRACT Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids have been reported to be associated with favorable changes in the respiratory system. To determine one of the mechanisms for this effect, membrane currents were recorded in guinea-pig tracheal myocytes by using the whole-cell voltage clamp technique. Without EGTA in the patch pipette containing the Cs-internal solution, command voltage pulses positive to +0 mV from a holding potential of -60 mV elicited a voltage-dependent L-type Ca2+ current (I(Ca x L)) and a subsequent outward current. Upon repolarization, slowly decaying inward tail currents were recorded. The outward currents and the inward tail current were enhanced by methyl-1,4,-dihydro-2,6-dimethyl-3-nitro-4-(2-trigluromethylphenyl )-pyridine-5-carboxylate, and blocked by Cd2+ or nifedipine. Inclusion of EGTA (5 mM) in the patch pipette also abolished these currents, indicating that they were Ca2+-dependent. When [Cl-]o or [Cl-]i was changed, the reversal potential of these currents shifted, thus behaving like a Cl(-)-sensitive ion channel. 4,4'-Diisothiocyanatostilbene-2,2'-disulphonic acid. a Cl- channel blocker, inhibited the currents. The omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (3-30 microM) and docosahexaenoic acid (30 microM) suppressed I(Ca x L) and then inhibited I(Ca x Cl) in a reversible manner. Similar inhibitory effects of eicosapentaenoic acid on I(Ca x L) were observed with 5 mM EGTA in the patch pipette. Neurokinin A (1 microM) and caffeine (10 mM) also transiently activated I(Cl x Ca), probably due to Ca2+ release from Ca2+ storage sites. Pretreatment of the cells with eicosapentaenoic acid markedly suppressed the activation of I(Cl x Ca) by neurokinin A or caffeine. These results suggest that omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids inhibit voltage-dependent L-type Ca2+ currents and also Ca2+-activated Cl- currents in tracheal smooth muscle cells from the guinea-pig, which may play a role in modulation of tracheal smooth muscle tone.