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J Physiol. 1995 Jul 15;486 ( Pt 2):427-37.

Contribution of SK and BK channels in the control of catecholamine release by electrical stimulation of the cat adrenal gland.

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Departamento de Farmacología, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain.


1. Transmural electrical stimulation (10 Hz, 1 ms, 40 V for 10 s) of cat adrenal glands perfused at room temperature with Krebs-Hepes solution produced catecholamine secretory responses which were reproducible when stimulations were applied at 5 min intervals. Such responses were inhibited about 20% by atropine (1 microM) and 80% by hexamethonium (30 microM). Apamin (100 nM) increased the secretory response 2.5-fold in the presence of atropine and 8-fold in the presence of hexamethonium. 2. Potentiation by apamin of secretory responses evoked by 100-pulse trains was similar at 5, 10 and 20 Hz (about 2-fold). When glands were continuously stimulated at 3 Hz, apamin increased 4-fold the initial secretion plateau. Continuous stimulation at a higher frequency (20 Hz) produced a sharp secretory peak followed by a small, sustained plateau; apamin did not alter this plateau. Apamin also enhanced the secretory responses obtained with sustained stimulation with acetylcholine (10 or 200 microM). 3. Secretion peaks induced by brief acetylcholine pulses (10 microM for 10 s) applied to isolated and superfused cat adrenal chromaffin cells were enhanced more than 3-fold by 100 nM apamin. Charybdotoxin (10 nM) did not enhance these secretory peaks. 4. In perfused cat adrenal glands, charybdotoxin (10 nM) affected neither the secretion evoked by trains of electrical stimulation applied at different frequencies nor the secretion evoked by acetylcholine pulses. 5. In 0.5 mM [Ca2+]o, apamin enhanced 3-fold the secretion evoked by electrical stimulation trains of 100 pulses (10 Hz, 10 s) and almost 6-fold the acetylcholine (10 microM for 10 s)-induced secretion. In 5 mM Ca2+, apamin enhanced the secretory responses to electrical stimulation and acetylcholine 2- and 10-fold, respectively. Charybdotoxin enhanced 2.5-fold the secretory response to electrical stimulation in 0.5 mM Ca2+, although this effect was not statistically significant. A synergistic interaction between the two toxins on catecholamine release induced by electrical stimulation was observed at low but not at high [Ca2+]o. 6. Simultaneous release of acetylcholine and catecholamines upon electrical stimulation was achieved in glands in which the endogenous acetylcholine stores in the splanchnic nerve terminals had been prelabelled by perfusion with [3H]choline. While apamin enhanced more than 2-fold the postsynaptic release of catecholamines, the presynaptic release of acetylcholine remained unaffected. 7. The results are compatible with the hypothesis that, under physiological conditions, Ca(2+)-activated SK channels present in chromaffin cells control the firing patterns of action potentials induced by the acetylcholine released from splanchnic nerves during stress.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS).

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