PubMed 21054386

Referenced in Channelpedia wiki pages of: none

Automatically associated channels: Cav1.2 , Cav1.3 , Slo1

Title: Different roles attributed to Cav1 channel subtypes in spontaneous action potential firing and fine tuning of exocytosis in mouse chromaffin cells.

Authors: Alberto Pérez-Alvarez, Alicia Hernández-Vivanco, José Carlos Caba-González, Almudena Albillos

Journal, date & volume: J. Neurochem., 2011 Jan , 116, 105-21

PubMed link:

This study examines the Cav1 isoforms expressed in mouse chromaffin cells and compares their biophysical properties and roles played in cell excitability and exocytosis. Using immunocytochemical and electrophysiological techniques in mice lacking the Cav1.3α1 subunit (Cav1.3(-/-) ) or the high sensitivity of Cav1.2α1 subunits to dihydropyridines, Cav1.2 and Cav1.3 channels were identified as the only Cav1 channel subtypes expressed in mouse chromaffin cells. Cav1.3 channels were activated at more negative membrane potentials and inactivated more slowly than Cav1.2 channels. Cav1 channels, mainly Cav1.2, control cell excitability by functional coupling to BK channels, revealed by nifedipine blockade of BK channels in wild type (WT) and Cav1.3(-/-) cells (53% and 35%, respectively), and by the identical change in the shape of the spontaneous action potentials elicited by the dihydropyridine in both strains of mice. Cav1.2 channels also play a major role in spontaneous action potential firing, supported by the following evidence: (i) a similar percentage of WT and Cav1.3(-/-) cells fired spontaneous action potentials; (ii) firing frequency did not vary between WT and Cav1.3(-/-) cells; (iii) mostly Cav1.2 channels contributed to the inward current preceding the action potential threshold; and (iv) in the presence of tetrodotoxin, WT or Cav1.3(-/-) cells exhibited spontaneous oscillatory activity, which was fully abolished by nifedipine perfusion. Finally, Cav1.2 and Cav1.3 channels were essential for controlling the exocytotic process at potentials above and below -10 mV, respectively. Our data reveal the key yet differential roles of Cav1.2 and Cav1.3 channels in mediating action potential firing and exocytotic events in the neuroendocrine chromaffin cell.