PubMed 19969350

Referenced in Channelpedia wiki pages of: none

Automatically associated channels: BK , SK1 , SK3

Title: Distribution, expression and functional effects of small conductance Ca-activated potassium (SK) channels in rat myometrium.

Authors: Karen Noble, Rachel Floyd, Andre Shmygol, Anatoly Shmygol, A Mobasheri, Susan Wray

Journal, date & volume: Cell Calcium, 2010 Jan , 47, 47-54

PubMed link:

Calcium-activated potassium channels are important in a variety of smooth muscles, contributing to excitability and contractility. In the myometrium previous work has focussed on the large conductance channels (BK), and the role of small conductance channels (SK) has received scant attention, despite the finding that over-expression of an SK channel isoform (SK3) results in uterine dysfunction and delayed parturition. This study therefore characterises the expression of the three SK channel isoforms (SK1-3) in rat myometrium throughout pregnancy and investigates their effect on cytosolic [Ca] and force and compares this with that of BK channels. Consistent expression of all SK isoform transcripts and clear immunostaining of SK1-3 was found. Inhibition of SK1-3 channels (apamin, scyllatoxin) significantly inhibited outward current, caused membrane depolarisation and elicited action potentials in previously quiescent cells. Apamin or scyllatoxin increased the amplitude of [Ca] and force in spontaneously contracting myometrial strips throughout gestation. The functional effect of SK inhibition was larger than that of BK channel inhibition. Thus we show for the first time that SK1-3 channels are expressed and translated throughout pregnancy and contribute to outward current, regulate membrane potential and hence Ca signals in pregnant rat myometrium. They contribute more to quiescence that BK channels.