Outward currents of colonic smooth muscle cells were characterized by the whole cell voltage-clamp method. Four components of outward current were identified: a time-independent and three time-dependent components. The time-dependent current showed strong outward rectification positive to -25 mV and was blocked by tetraethylammonium. The time-dependent components were separated on the basis of their time courses, voltage dependence, and pharmacological sensitivities. They are as follows. 1) A Ca2+-activated K current sensitive to external Ca2+ and Ca2+ influx was blocked by ethylene glycol-bis(beta-aminoethyl ether)-N,N,N',N'-tetraacetic acid (0.1 X 10(-3) M) and nifedipine (1 X 10(-6) and was increased by elevated Ca2+ (8 X 10(-6) M) and BAY K 8644 (1 X 10(-6) M). 2) A "delayed rectifier" current was observed that decayed slowly with time and showed no voltage-dependent inactivation. 3) Spontaneous transient outward currents that were blocked by ryanodine (2 X 10(-6) M) were also recorded. The possible contributions of these currents to the electrical activity of colonic muscle cells in situ are discussed. Ca2+-activated K current may contribute a significant conductance to the repolarizing phase of electrical slow waves.
- Copyright © 1989 the American Physiological Society