PubMed 11600437

Referenced in Channelpedia wiki pages of: none

Automatically associated channels: SK1 , SK2 , SK3

Title: Expression of Ca(2+)-activated K(+) channels, SK3, in the interstitial cells of Cajal in the gastrointestinal tract.

Authors: A Fujita, T Takeuchi, N Saitoh, J Hanai, F Hata

Journal, date & volume: Am. J. Physiol., Cell Physiol., 2001 Nov , 281, C1727-33

PubMed link:

A role for small-conductance Ca(2+)-activated K(+) (SK) channels on spontaneous motility of the gastrointestinal tract has been suggested. Although four subtypes of SK channels were identified in mammalian tissues, the subtypes of SK channel expressed in the gastrointestinal tract are still unknown. In this study, we investigated the expression and localization of SK channels in the gastrointestinal tract. RT-PCR analysis shows expression of SK3 and SK4 mRNA, but not SK1 or SK2 mRNA, in the rat intestine. SK3 immunoreactivity was detected in the myenteric plexus and muscular layers of the stomach, ileum, and colon. SK3-immunoreactive cells were stained with antibody for c-kit, a marker for the interstitial cells of Cajal (ICC), but not with that for glial fibrillary acidic protein in the ileum and stomach. Immunoelectron microscopic analysis indicates that SK3 channels are localized on processes of ICC that are located close to the myenteric plexus between the longitudinal and circular muscle layers and within the muscular layers. Because ICC have been identified as pacemaker cells and are known to play a major role in generating the regular motility of the gastrointestinal tract, these results suggest that SK3 channels, which are expressed specifically in ICC, play an important role in generating a rhythmic pacemaker current in the gastrointestinal tract.