Membrane stretch: A physiological stimulator of Ca2+-activated K+ channels in thick ascending limb

J. Taniguchi, W. B. Guggino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The effects of membrane stretch on Ca2+-activated (maxi) K+ channels were examined in the apical membrane of cultured medullary thick ascending limb (MTAL) cells. Using cell-attached patch-clamp technique, we found that negative pressure (-33 ± 5 cmH2O) applied to the patch membrane increased fractional open probability (NP(o)) from 0.3 ± 0.2 to 29.9 ± 7.6% (n = 12) in the presence of 1.8 mM Ca2+ in the pipette. The activity returned to control on releasing the negative pressure. Reduction of extracellular osmolality from 293.2 ± 1.6 to 219.8 ± 1.1 mosmol/kg also activated K+ channels (NP(o) = 43.8 ± 12.2%, n = 8) in cell-attached patches. Removal of Ca2+ from both pipette and bathing solution inhibited osmotic activation of K+ channels. K+ channels were shown to be Ca2+-activated K+ channels by their conductance (146 ± 7 pS, n = 5) and Ca2+ dependence. Our data suggest that membrane stretch caused by swelling or possibly by tubular flow enhances Ca2+ entry across the apical cell membrane of MTAL cells activating maxi K+ channels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)F347-F352
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Renal Fluid and Electrolyte Physiology
Issue number3 (26/3)
StatePublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology


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