Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Because chloride (Cl(-)) channel blockers such as niflumic acid enhance large-conductance Ca(2+)-activated potassium channels (BK(Ca)), the aim of this study was to determine whether there is a reciprocal modification of Ca(2+)-activated chloride Cl(-) currents (I(ClCa)) by two selective activators of BK(Ca). Single smooth muscle cells were isolated by enzymatic digestion from murine portal vein and rabbit pulmonary artery. The BK(Ca) activators NS1619 [1,3-dihydro-1-[2-hydroxy-5-(trifluoromethyl-)phenyl]-5-(trifluoromethyl)-2H-benzimidazol-2-one] and isopimaric acid (IpA) augmented macroscopic I(ClCa) elicited by pipette solutions containing [Ca(2+)](i) > 100 nM without any alteration in current kinetics. Enhanced currents recorded in the presence of NS1619 or IpA reversed at the theoretical Cl(-) equilibrium potential, which was shifted by approximately -40 mV upon replacement of the external anion with the more permeable thiocyanate anion. NS1619 increased the sensitivity of calcium-activated chloride channel (Cl(Ca)) to Ca(2+) (approximately 100 nM at +60 mV) and induced a leftward shift in their voltage dependence (approximately 80 mV with 1 micro Ca(2+)). Single-channel experiments revealed that NS1619 increased the number of open channels times the open probability of small-conductance (1.8-3.1 pS) Cl(Ca) without any alteration in their unitary amplitude or number of observable unitary levels of activity. These data, in addition to the established stimulatory effects of niflumic acid on BK(Ca), show that there is similarity in the pharmacology of calcium-activated chloride and potassium channels. Although nonspecific interactions are possible, one alternative hypothesis is that the channel underlying vascular I(ClCa) shares some structural similarity to the BK(Ca) or that the latter K(+) channel physically interacts with Cl(Ca).

Original publication




Journal article


The Journal of pharmacology and experimental therapeutics

Publication Date





1075 - 1084


Ion Channels and Cell Signaling Research Centre, Division of Basic Medical Sciences, St. George's, University of London, SW17 0RE London, UK.


Pulmonary Artery, Portal Vein, Myocytes, Smooth Muscle, Animals, Mice, Inbred BALB C, Rabbits, Mice, Calcium, Carboxylic Acids, Niflumic Acid, Benzimidazoles, Phenanthrenes, Chloride Channels, Potassium Channels, Calcium-Activated, Electrophysiology, Dose-Response Relationship, Drug