PubMed 15280155

Referenced in Channelpedia wiki pages of: none

Automatically associated channels: Kir1.1

Title: Apical potassium channels in the rat connecting tubule.

Authors: Gustavo Frindt, Lawrence G Palmer

Journal, date & volume: Am. J. Physiol. Renal Physiol., 2004 Nov , 287, F1030-7

PubMed link:

Apical membrane K channels in the rat connecting tubule (CNT) were studied using the patch-clamp technique. Tubules were isolated from the cortical labyrinth of the kidney and split open to provide access to the apical membrane. Cell-attached patches were formed on presumed principal and/or connecting tubule cells. The major channel type observed had a single-channel conductance of 52 pS, high open probability and kinetics that were only weakly dependent on voltage. These correspond closely to the "SK"-type channels in the cortical collecting duct, identified with the ROMK (Kir1.1) gene product. A second channel type, which was less frequently observed, mediated larger currents and was strongly activated by depolarization of the apical membrane voltage. These were identified as BK or maxi-K channels. The density of active SK channels revealed a high degree of clustering. Although heterogeneity of tubules or of cell types within a tubule could not be excluded, the major factor underlying the distribution appeared to be the presence of channel clusters on the membrane of individual cells. The overall density of channels was higher than that previously found in the cortical collecting tubule (CCT). In contrast to results in the CCT, we did not detect an increase in the overall density of SK channels in the apical membrane after feeding the animals a high-K diet. However, the activity of amiloride-sensitive Na channels was undetectable under control conditions but was increased after both 1 day (90 +/- 24 pA/cell) or 7 days (385 +/- 82 pA/cell) of K loading. Thus one important factor leading to an increased K secretion in the CNT in response to increased dietary K is an increased apical Na conductance, leading to depolarization of the apical membrane voltage and an increased driving force for K movement out into the tubular lumen.