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Am J Physiol. 1990 Sep;259(3 Pt 2):F494-502.

Regulation of small-conductance K+ channel in apical membrane of rat cortical collecting tubule.

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Department of Cellular and Molecular Physiology, Yale University Medical School, New Haven, Connecticut 06510.


We used the patch-clamp technique to study the activity and regulation of single potassium channels in the apical membrane of isolated cortical collecting tubules (CCT) of rat kidney. With 140 mM K+ in the pipette the inward conductance of the channel in cell-attached patches at 37 degrees C was 35 pS (n = 106, NaCl-Ringer or 70 mM KCl and 70 mM NaCl in the bath), and the outward conductance was 15 pS (n = 15, 70 mM NaCl + 70 mM KCl in the bath). Mean open probability (Po) of the channel is voltage independent and 0.96 (n = 106). The channel displayed one open state with a mean lifetime of 18.6 ms and one closed state with a mean lifetime of 0.7 ms (n = 20). Selectivity ratio between K+ and Na+ is 20 (n = 5). High-potassium diet increased channel incidence from control 32% (53 patches with channel from 165 patches) to 64% (53 patches with channels from 83 patches). The channel could be blocked by 1 mM Ba2+ (n = 7, Ba2+ in the pipette); however, 5 mM tetraethylammonium (n = 9, TEA in the pipette) did not block the channel activity. The channel was very sensitive to intracellular pH (n = 6). Changing bath pH facing cytoplasmic side of inside-out patches from 7.4 to 6.9 reversibly reduced Po from 0.9 to 0.1. Addition of 1 mM ATP (n = 7) to bath almost completely inhibited channel activity in inside-out patches. This ATP-induced inhibition was fully reversible and was found to be dependent on the ratio of ATP to ADP, since adding 0.5 mM ADP to bath solution relieved the ATP-induced blockade. Results indicate that intracellular pH, concentration of ATP, and ratio of ATP to ADP are important regulators of potassium channel activity in the apical membrane of rat CCT, and the properties of the channel make it a strong candidate for K+ secretion in this nephron segment.

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