The aim of this study was to explore the role of BK channels in the hypoxic sensitivity of the in vivo murine carotid body (CB). Four strains of mice (DBA/2J, A/J, BKα1 knockout and BKα1 wild type – FVB background) were used. The mice were anesthetized, paralyzed and mechanically ventilated (PaCO2 ~ 35 mmHg, PO2 > 300 mmHg). We measured carotid sinus nerve (CSN) activity during three gas challenges (FIO2: 0.21, 0.15 and 0.10). CSN activity was analyzed with time-variant spectral analysis with frequency domain conversion (Fast Fourier Transforms). Afferent CSN activity increased with lowering FIO2 in the DBA/2J, BKKO and BKWT mice with the most robust response in 600–800 frequencies. No substantial changes were observed in the A/J mice. Although maximal neural output was similar between the BKKO and BKWT mice, the BKWT had a higher early response compared to BKKO. Thus, BK channels may play a role in the initial response of the CB to hypoxia. The contribution of BKβ subunits or the importance of frequency specific responses was unable to be determined by the current study.
- BK channel
- Carotid sinus nerve
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)