Effects of cationic substitutions on delayed rectifier current in type I vestibular hair cells
Rennie, K.J.; Correia, M.J.
Journal of Membrane Biology 173(2): 139-148
The resting potassium current (I(KI)) in gerbil dissociated type I vestibular hair cells has been characterized under various ionic conditions in whole cell voltage-clamp. When all K(+) in the patch electrode solution was replaced with Na(+), (Na(+))(in) or Cs(+), (Cs(+))(in), large inward currents were evoked in response to voltage steps between -90 and -50 mV. Activation of these currents could be described by a Hodgkin-Huxley-type kinetic scheme, the order of best fit increasing with depolarization. Above approximately -40 mV currents became outward and inactivated with a monoexponential time course. Membrane resistance was inversely correlated with external K(+) concentration. With (Na(+))(in), currents were eliminated when K(+) was removed from the external solution or following extracellular perfusion of 4-aminopyridine, indicating that currents flowed through I(KI) channels. Also, reduction of K(+) entry through manipulation of membrane potential reduced the magnitude of the outward current. Under symmetrical Cs(+), 0 K(+) conditions I(KI) is highly permeable to Cs(+). However, inward currents were reduced when small amounts of external K(+) were added. Higher concentrations of K(+) resulted in larger currents indicating an anomalous mole fraction effect in mixtures of external Cs(+) and K(+).