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Am J Physiol. 1993 Nov;265(5 Pt 1):G873-9.

Potassium current in circular smooth muscle of human jejunum activated by fenamates.

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  • 1Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota 55905.


Thirty-eight cells, freshly isolated from circular smooth muscle of normal human jejunum obtained from nine patients undergoing weight-reduction surgery for morbid obesity, were patch clamped using a perforated patch-clamp technique. A highly potassium-selective voltage-dependent outward current was present in all cells. The current was carried by a 220-pS channel that activated near -75 mV and reached unit open probability at about +10 mV. Blockade of the current by quinidine (50 microM) and tetraethylammonium (25 mM) was accompanied by membrane depolarization to 0 to -3 mV, suggesting that this current was the major determinant of the membrane potential. Flufenamic and mefenamic acid at concentrations comparable with blood levels reached when these drugs are used in clinical therapy as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents, activated the potassium outward current and hyperpolarized the membrane potential. The shift in the membrane potential for 250 microM flufenamic acid was -36 +/- 24 (SD) mV. Activation was rapid (seconds) and reversible. It was concluded that normal human jejunal circular smooth muscle cells have a highly potassium-selective outward current, which is the major determinant of the membrane potential and which is activated by fenamates.

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