Intracellular Na+ modulates large conductance Ca 2+-activated K+ currents in human umbilical vein endothelial cells

Guo Hua Liang, Moon Young Kim, Seonghee Park, Ji Aee Kim, Shinkyu Choi, Suk Hyo Suh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


We studied the effects of Na+ influx on large-conductance Ca2+-activated K+ (BKCa) channels in cultured human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) by means of patch clamp and SBFI microfluorescence measurements. In current-clamped HUVECs, extracellular Na+ replacement by NMDG+ or mannitol hyperpolarized cells. In voltage-clamped HUVECs, changing membrane potential from 0 mV to negative potentials increased intracellular Na+ concentration ([Na +]i) and vice versa. In addition, extracellular Na + depletion decreased [Na+]i. In voltage-clamped cells, BKCa currents were markedly increased by extracellular Na+ depletion. In inside-out patches, increasing [Na+]i from 0 to 20 or 40 mM reduced single channel conductance but not open probability (NPo) of BKCa channels and decreasing intracellular K+ concentration ([K+] i) gradually from 140 to 70 mM reduced both single channel conductance and NPo. Furthermore, increasing [Na+]i gradually from 0 to 70 mM, by replacing K+, markedly reduced single channel conductance and NPo. The Na+-Ca2+ exchange blocker Ni2+ or KB-R7943 decreased [Na+]i and increased BKCa currents simultaneously, and the Na+ ionophore monensin completely inhibited BKCa currents. BK Ca currents were significantly augmented by increasing extracellular K+ concentration ([K+]o) from 6 to 12 mM and significantly reduced by decreasing [K+]o from 12 or 6 to 0 mM or applying the Na+-K+ pump inhibitor ouabain. These results suggest that intracellular Na+ inhibit single channel conductance of BKCa channels and that intracellular K+ increases single channel conductance and NPo.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-75
Number of pages9
JournalPflugers Archiv European Journal of Physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 2008

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Korea Research Foundation Grant funded by the Korea Government (MOEHRD, Basic Research Promotion Fund) (KRF-2007-313-E00023).


  • BK current
  • Endothelial cells
  • Intracellular Na and K
  • Na influx


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