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Am J Physiol. 1994 Apr;266(4 Pt 1):G544-53.

Nucleotide receptors activate cation, potassium, and chloride currents in a liver cell line.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina 27710.


By use of whole cell patch-clamp techniques, the effects of extracellular ATP on membrane ion currents of HTC cells from a rat liver tumor line were evaluated. ATP (500 microM) or the nonhydrolyzable analogue adenosine 5'-O-(3-thiotriphosphate) caused sequential activation of three currents: Icat (-1,325 +/- 255 pA at -80 mV) occurred early, was due to increased Na+ and K+ permeability, was present in 56% of 64 consecutive cells, and rapidly inactivated; IK (274 +/- 45 pA at 0 mV) was present in 59% of cells and also inactivated; and ICl (1,172 +/- 237 pA at +60 mV) was present in 94% of studies, was sustained, and exhibited outward rectification of the current-voltage relation. All three currents were present in 39% of cells. Increasing intracellular Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i) by exposure to the 5'-nucleotide receptor agonist UTP (500 microM) or to thapsigargin activated Icat and IK but not ICl, whereas increasing ethylene glycol-bis(beta-aminoethyl ether)-N,N,N',N'-tetraacetic acid in the pipette (> or = 5 mM) inhibited ATP-dependent activation of Icat and IK but not ICl. A P2x-preferring agonist alpha, beta-methylene ATP (500 microM) did not activate currents; a P2y-preferring agonist 2-methylthioadenosine triphosphate activated Icat and IK at concentrations of 500 microM but not 50 microM. In perforated patch recordings, ATP produced triphasic changes in membrane potential with initial depolarization due to Icat, subsequent hyperpolarization due to IK, and a later sustained depolarization due to ICl. These findings indicate that ATP modulates HTC cell ion permeability through initial activation of Icat and IK mediated by 5'-nucleotide receptors which mobilize [Ca2+], and sustained activation of ICl through a separate Ca(2+)-independent mechanism.

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