PubMed 18026984

Title: Kv1 and Kir2 potassium channels are expressed in rat brain endothelial cells.

Authors: Ian D Millar, Shanshan Wang, Peter D Brown, Margery A Barrand, Stephen B Hladky

Journal, date & volume: Pflugers Arch., 2008 May , 456, 379-91

PubMed link:

The endothelial cells of the brain microvasculature, which constitute the blood-brain barrier, secrete K+ into brain interstitial fluid. K+ channels are predicted to have a central role to play in this process. The aim of the following study was to characterise K+ channels in primary cultures of endothelial cells isolated from rat brain microvessels by whole-cell patch clamp and real-time polymerase chain reaction. In the 4 h after plating, the rat brain endothelial cells expressed predominantly a depolarisation-activated delayed-rectifying outward K+ conductance and a time-independent inwardly rectifying K+ conductance prominent at hyperpolarising potentials. The outward current was inhibited by 1 mM 4-aminopyridine (4AP), 10 nM margatoxin and 100 nM dendrotoxin-K, indicating the involvement of Kv1 channels. The half maximal activation voltage and time constants of activation and inactivation of the 4AP-sensitive current were similar to Kv1.3. The inwardly rectifying conductance was inhibited by Ba2+ in a dose- and voltage-dependent fashion; the kinetics of which resembled Kir2 channels. Quantification of messenger ribonucleic acid transcripts revealed Kv1.3>1.2=1.4=1.5=1.6 and Kir2.1=2>2.3. In current-clamp experiments, both 4AP and Ba2+ depolarised the membrane potential. In conclusion, rat brain endothelial cells express Kv1 and Kir2 K+ channels, both of which participate in setting membrane potential and could mediate K+ secretion into the brain interstitial fluid.