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Cloning and expression of cardiac Kir2.1 and Kir2.2 channels in thermally acclimated rainbow trout.

Minna Hassinen, Vesa Paajanen, Jaakko Haverinen, Heli Eronen, Matti Vornanen

Am. J. Physiol. Regul. Integr. Comp. Physiol., 2007 Jun , 292, R2328-39

Potassium currents are plastic entities that modify electrical activity of the heart in various physiological conditions including chronic thermal stress. We examined the molecular basis of the inward rectifier K+ current (IK1) in rainbow trout acclimated to cold (4 degrees C, CA) and warm (18 degrees C, WA) temperature. Inward rectifier K+ channel (Kir)2.1 and Kir2.2 transcripts were expressed in atrium and ventricle of the trout heart, K(ir)2.1 being the major component in both cardiac chambers. The relative expression of Kir2.2 was, however, higher (P < 0.05) in atrium than ventricle. The density of ventricular IK1 was approximately 25% larger (P < 0.05) in WA than CA trout. Furthermore, the IK1 of the WA trout was 10 times more sensitive to Ba2+ (IC50 0.18 +/- 0.42 microM) than the IK1 of the CA trout (1.17 +/- 0.44 microM) (P < 0.05), and opening kinetics of single Kir2 channels was slower in WA than CA trout (P < 0.05). When expressed in COS-1 cells, the homomeric Kir2.2 channels demonstrated higher Ba2+ sensitivity (2.88 +/- 0.42 microM) than Kir2.1 channels (24.99 +/- 7.40 microM) (P < 0.05). In light of the different Ba2+ sensitivities of rainbow trout (om)Kir2.1 and omKir2.2 channels, it is concluded that warm acclimation increases either number or activity of the omK(ir)2.2 channels in trout ventricular myocytes. The functional changes in I(K1) are independent of omKir2 transcript levels, which remained unaltered by thermal acclimation. Collectively, these findings suggest that thermal acclimation modifies functional properties and subunit composition of the trout Kir2 channels, which may be needed for regulation of cardiac excitability at variable temperatures.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17289820