Mechanosensitive ion channels in putative aortic baroreceptor neurons

Shane Kraske, J. Thomas Cunningham, George Hajduczok, Mark W. Chapleau, Francois M. Abboud, Ruth E. Wachtel

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44 Scopus citations


Cell-attached patchclamp experiments were performed on dissociated neurons from nodose ganglia of adult rats. Putative aortic baroreceptor neurons were identified by labeling nerve endings in the adventitia of the aortic arch with the carbocyanine dye DiI. Whereas previous experiments demonstrated the presence of mechanosensitive (MS) whole cell currents, these experiments studied single MS ion channels and examined the influence of culture conditions on their expression. Single MS channels were activated by applying negative pressure through the recording pipette. Channel openings became more frequent as the negative pressure was increased, with open probability increasing significantly above 30 mmHg. MS channels had a slope conductance of 114 pS and a reversal potential of ~0 mV, consistent with a nonspecific cation conductance. Channels were not affected by antagonists of voltage-gated conductances but were blocked by 20 μM gadolinium, a known blocker of MS ion channels. When nodose neurons were cocultured with aortic endothelial cells, but not aortic smooth muscle cells, the percentage of patches exhibiting MS ion channels increased significantly, suggesting that aortic endothelial cells secrete a diffusible factor that increases channel expression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)H1497-H1501
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number4 44-4
StatePublished - 1998


  • Electrophysiology
  • Mechanoreceptors
  • Patch-clamp techniques
  • Pressoreceptors


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