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Pflugers Arch. 2003 Jun;446(3):380-6. Epub 2003 Apr 4.

Voltage-gated potassium currents in rat vas deferens smooth muscle cells.

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Nerve-Muscle Physiology Department, Bogomoletz Institute of Physiology, Bogomoletz Street 4, Kiev-24, Ukraine.


Voltage-gated components of the outward current in single smooth muscle cells isolated from the epididymal part of the rat vas deferens were studied using amphotericin B perforated patch-clamp techniques. The complex kinetics of the net outward current elicited by positive voltage steps from -80 mV to +40 mV suggested the presence of several components. Bath application of 200 nM charybdotoxin, a potent blocker of large-conductance, Ca(2+)-dependent K(+) channels (BK(Ca)), reduced the current amplitude significantly. When BK(Ca) channels were suppressed, fast-inactivating (I(K,f)) and delayed rectifying (I(K,dr)) components of the outward current were identified. I(K,f) was characterized by fast kinetics of current decay, negative steady-state activation and inactivation dependencies and sensitivity to 4-aminopyridine with an apparent K(d) of 0.32 mM, properties similar to those of the A-type K(+) current. In contrast, I(K,dr) activated and inactivated at more positive potentials. The time constant of activation of I(K,dr) was voltage dependent with an e-fold decrease per 21 mV depolarization. I(K,dr) was inhibited by clofilium, a blocker of voltage-gated K(+) channels, with an IC(50) of 12 micro M and was not blocked by 5 mM 4-aminopyridine. The possible significance of the voltage-gated currents is discussed.

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