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Am J Physiol. 1980 Nov;239(5):C182-9.

Penetration-induced hyperpolarization as evidence for Ca2+ activation of K+ conductance in isolated smooth muscle cells.


Single smooth muscle cells, freshly isolated by enzymatic digestion of the stomach muscularis of the toad Bufo marinus were studied under direct microscopic observation using standard electrophysiological techniques. Following penetration with a microelectrode, a hyperpolarization lasting many seconds occurred before the membrane depolarized to a steady-state level. The following lines of evidence indicate that the penetration-induced hyperpolarization results from an increase in K+ conductance caused by Ca2+ that enters the cell at the time of penetration: 1) The cell contracted at the time of penetration indicating that [Ca2+]i was elevated even though no action potential had occurred; the cell subsequently relaxed. 2) The input resistance was much lower during the hyperpolarization than during the steady-state resting potential. In the steady state all cells displayed outward-going rectification. 3) At constant [Ca2+]0, the amplitude of the hyperpolarization varied with log[K+]0 (1.3-56 mM) to a much greater degree than did the steady-state potential. Tetraethylammonium chloride (TEA) (18.2 mM) reduced the hyperpolarization. 4) At constant [K+]0, the amplitude of the hyperpolarization increased as the [Ca2+]0 was raised (1.8-52.1 mM). 5) With [Ca2+]0 low (less than or equal to 0.16 mM), the hyperpolarization was almost completely abolished in the presence of a high concentration of Ba2+ (80 mM) or Mn2+ (79.2 mM); this was not the case with Sr2+.

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