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Spontaneous and neurally activated depolarizations in smooth muscle cells of the guinea-pig urethra

By H Hashitani and F R Edwards


Membrane potential recordings were made from longitudinal smooth muscle cells of the guinea-pig urethra using conventional microelectrode techniques.Smooth muscle cells of the urethra developed spontaneous transient depolarizations (STDs) and slow waves. Single unit STDs had amplitudes of approximately 5 mV and slow waves seemed to occur as amplitude multiples of single unit STDs.STDs and slow waves were abolished by niflumic acid or low chloride solution and also by cyclopiazonic acid (CPA), BAPTA or high concentrations of caffeine. Lower concentrations of caffeine abolished slow waves but not STDs. Nifedipine inhibited slow waves but not STDs.When stochastic properties of STDs were examined, it was found that the intervals between occurrences were not well modelled by Poisson statistics, instead the STDs appeared to be clustered.Transmural stimulation evoked excitatory junctional potentials (EJPs) and triggered slow waves which were abolished by either α,β-methylene-ATP or tetrodotoxin. Evoked slow waves were also abolished by caffeine, co-application of caffeine and ryanodine or by CPA which left EJPs unaffected.In conclusion, smooth muscle cells of urethra exhibit STDs which are clustered rather than random events, and are the result of spontaneous Ca2+ release from intracellular stores and subsequent activation of Ca2+-activated chloride channels. STDs sum to activate L-type Ca2+ channels which contribute to the sustained phase of slow waves. Stimulation of purinoceptors by neurally released ATP initiates EJPs and also causes the release of Ca2+ from intracellular stores to evoke slow waves

Topics: Original Articles
Publisher: Blackwell Science Inc
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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