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Am J Physiol. 1995 Sep;269(3 Pt 1):G378-85.

Ca2+ currents in human colonic smooth muscle cells.

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  • 1Department of Molecular and Cellular Physiology, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Ohio 45267, USA.


Voltage-gated Ca2+ currents were investigated in single smooth muscle cells freshly isolated from the circular layer of the human colon (ascending and descending portions) using the whole cell voltage-clamp technique. Tissue samples were obtained at the time of therapeutic surgery. In physiological salt solution (containing 2 mM Ca2+), an inward current was observed when the cell membrane was depolarized in the presence of tetrodotoxin. This current disappeared when Ca2+ was removed from the bath solution and was inhibited when Ca2+ channel blockers were applied, indicating that the inward current was a Ca2+ current (ICa). Changing the holding potential (HP) from -100 mV to more positive potentials (e.g., -60 and -40 mV) markedly decreased the amplitude of ICa. The voltage dependence of steady-state activation and inactivation was represented by Boltzmann distributions; there was a substantial amount of overlap (window current) between -60 and -10 mV. A fast-inactivating ICa component followed by a slow-inactivating ICa component was observed in some cells from both ascending and descending colons. The fast ICa component was observed only when cells were held at -80 or -100 mV, and had a more negative threshold potential (-70 to -60 mV). This component was sensitive to low concentrations of Ni2+ (30 microM) but was resistant to nifedipine (10-20 microM). In contrast, the slow (sustained) ICa component was observed at all HPs (-40 to -100 mV) and had a more positive threshold potential (about -40 mV). This component was insensitive to low concentration of Ni2+ but was sensitive to nifedipine and BAY K 8644.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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