PURPOSE: To characterize the biophysical, pharmacologic, and functional properties of the Ca(2+)-activated Cl(-) current in retinal arteriolar myocytes. METHODS: Whole-cell perforated patch-clamp recordings were made from myocytes within intact isolated arteriolar segments. Arteriolar tone was assessed using pressure myography. RESULTS: Depolarizing of voltage steps to -40 mV and greater activated an L-type Ca(2+) current (I(Ca(L))) that was followed by a sustained current. Large tail currents (I(tail)) were observed on stepping back to -80 mV. The sustained current and I(tail) reversed close to 0 mV in symmetrical Cl(-) concentrations. The ion selectivity sequence for I(tail) was I(-)> Cl(-)> glucuronate. Outward I(tail) was sensitive to the Cl(-) channel blockers 9-anthracene-carboxylic acid (9-AC; 1 mM), 4-acetamido-4'-isothiocyanatostilbene-2,2'-disulfonic acid (SITS; 1 mM), and disodium 4,4'-diisothiocyanatostilbene-2,2'-disulfonate (DIDS; 1 mM), but only DIDS produced a substantial (78%) block of inward tail currents at -100 mV. I(tail) was decreased in magnitude when the normal bathing medium was substituted with Ca(2+)-free solution or if I(Ca(L)) was inhibited by 1 microM nimodipine. Caffeine (10 mM) produced large transient currents that reversed close to the Cl(-) equilibrium potential and were blocked by 1 mM DIDS or 100 microM tetracaine. DIDS had no effect on basal vascular tone in pressurized arterioles but dramatically reduced the level of vasoconstriction observed in the presence of 10 nM endothelin-1. CONCLUSIONS: Retinal arteriolar myocytes have I(Cl(Ca)), which may be activated by Ca(2+) entry through L-type Ca(2+) channels or Ca(2+) release from intracellular stores. This current appears to contribute to agonist-induced retinal vasoconstriction.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
- Sensory Systems