PubMed 21403384

Referenced in Channelpedia wiki pages of: none

Automatically associated channels: BK , Slo1

Title: Effects of osmotic challenges on membrane potential in human articular chondrocytes from healthy and osteoarthritic cartilage.

Authors: Julio C Sánchez, Diego F López-Zapata

Journal, date & volume: Biorheology, 2010 , 47, 321-31

PubMed link:

Changes in external osmolarity arise from variations in mechanical loads on joints and may affect the homeostasis of chondrocytes, which are the only cell type responsible for matrix turnover. Accordingly, variations in membrane potential may affect cartilage production. The present study assessed the effects of variations in external osmolarity on membrane potential and the possible mechanisms responsible for this response. Membrane potential was measured by the patch clamp whole-cell technique using human articular chondrocytes freshly isolated from healthy and osteoarthritic cartilage. The membrane potential was -39±4 mV in articular human chondrocytes from healthy cartilage and -26±4 mV in those from osteoarthritic cartilage. Increasing the osmolarity produced a reversible hyperpolarization mediated by K+ efflux through BKCa channels in both groups of chondrocytes, but the response in osteoarthritic cells was significantly reduced; no other K+ pathways were involved in this effect. Alternatively, decreasing the osmolarity elicited depolarization in healthy chondrocytes but did not produce any response in chondrocytes from osteoarthritic cartilage. The depolarization was dependent on Na+ influx through Gd3+-sensitive stretch-activated cation channels and was independent of external Ca2+. The differential responses observed in chondrocytes from osteoarthritic cartilage suggest that disregulation on the responses to external osmolarity may be involved in the process that leads to the alterations in the cartilage structure observed in osteoarthritis.