Roles of outward potassium currents in the action potentials of guinea pig ureteral myocytes

J. L. Sui, C. Y. Kao

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Outward currents of freshly dissociated ureteral myocytes consist mainly of Ca2+-activated K+ current (I(KCa)) and a transient outward current (I(TO)). No delayed rectifier current was apparent. I(KCa) is small and nondecaying and fluctuates actively and irregularly. Blocking I(KCa) decreased resting membrane conductance and prolonged action potential plateaus, showing its roles in maintaining the resting potential and in repolarizing action potentials. It is also responsible for the membrane potential fluctuations on action potential plateaus. Neither 8- (diethylamino)octyl-3,4,5-trimethoxybenzoate hydrochloride nor caffeine reduced the fluctuations in the outward current or in the action potentials, indicating that internal Ca2+ storage contributes little to the fluctuations./To has fast activation and inactivation kinetics with inactivation time constants of ~15 and 150 ms, respectively. Its highly negative voltage-availability relationship (V0.5 = -70.5 mV) suggests a low availability (<5%) at normal resting potentials. It has only trivial effects on action potentials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)C962-C972
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Cell Physiology
Issue number3 42-3
StatePublished - Sep 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Membrane current
  • Physiology
  • Potassium channel
  • Smooth muscle


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