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ABSTRACT: Chloride channels have been identified in vascular smooth muscle cells (SMCs). It has been shown that these channels are involved in myogenic tone regulation and neuromuscular transmission in various vascular beds. However, whether the chloride channels are responsible for the formation of excitatory junction potentials (EJPs) of SMCs in the spiral modiolar artery (SMA) remains unelucidated. In the present study, the effects of chloride channel blockers (niflumic acid, NFA; indanyloxyacetic acid 94, IAA-94; disodium 4, 4'-diisothiocyanatostilbene-2, 2'-disulfonate, DIDS) on EJP were explored in guinea pigs, using intracellular recording techniques on acutely isolated SMA. It was found that EJP was evoked in the majority of the SMCs (75%, n=49) with an adequate electronic stimulation. The amplitude of the EJP was partially blocked (30% approximately 80%) by combined application of alpha(1) receptor antagonist (prazosin) and alpha(2) receptor antagonist (idazoxan) at concentration of up to 1 micromol/L, and P(2x) receptor antagonist (PPADS, 10 approximately 100 micromol/L). NFA (100 micromol/L) could further inhibit the residual EJP in the presence of alpha(1), alpha(2)-adrenergic and P(2x) receptor antagonists. IAA-94 or DIDS not only inhibited the amplitude but also shortened the duration of EJP. Decrease of extracellular chloride concentration from 135.6 mmol/L to 60 mmol/L would enhance EJP. Moreover, IAA-94 (100 micromol/L) and DIDS (200 mumol/L) could reverse the enhancement of EJP by low extracellular Cl(-). NFA (100 micromol/L) could also block the residual depolarizations evoked by norepinephrine (NE, 1 approximately 50 micromol/L). Based on these results, it is inferred that NE could activate a novel adrenoceptor to open the chloride channel on the membrane of the SMCs, leading to a transmembrane Cl(-) current. This current is involved, at least partially, in the formation of EJP.
Sheng li xue bao: [Acta physiologica Sinica] 11/2006; 58(5):456-62.