Because persistent swelling causes cell damage and often results in cell death, volume regulation is an important physiological function in both neuronal and non‐neuronal cells. Brain cell swelling has been observed not only in various pathological conditions but also during physiological synaptic transmissions. Volume‐sensitive anion channels have been reported to play an important role in the regulatory volume decrease occurring after osmotic swelling in many cell types. In this study, using a two‐photon laser scanning microscope and patch‐clamp techniques, we found that mouse cortical neurons in primary culture exhibit regulatory volume decrease after transient swelling and activation of Cl– currents during exposure to a hypotonic solution. The regulatory volume decrease was inhibited by Cl– channel blockers or K+ channel blockers. Swelling‐activated Cl– currents exhibited outward rectification, time‐dependent inactivation at large positive potentials, a low‐field anion permeability sequence, an intermediate unitary conductance and sensitivity to known blockers of volume‐sensitive Cl– channels. Thus, it is concluded that the activity of the volume‐sensitive outwardly rectifying Cl– channel plays a role in the control of cell volume in cortical neurons.
European Journal of Neuroscience – Wiley
Published: Mar 1, 2005
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