Carotid body chemosensory responses in mice deficient of TASK channels
|Author||Ortega Sáenz, Patricia
Marcos Almaraz, María Teresa
Bonilla Henao, Victoria
Pascual Bravo, Alberto
López Barneo, José
|Department||Universidad de Sevilla. Departamento de Fisiología Médica y Biofísica|
|Published in||The Journal of general physiology, 135 (4), 379-392.|
|Abstract||Background K+ channels of the TASK family are believed to participate in sensory transduction by chemoreceptor (glomus) cells of the carotid body (CB). However, studies on the systemic CB-mediated ventilatory response to ...
Background K+ channels of the TASK family are believed to participate in sensory transduction by chemoreceptor (glomus) cells of the carotid body (CB). However, studies on the systemic CB-mediated ventilatory response to hypoxia and hypercapnia in TASK1- and/or TASK3-deficient mice have yielded conflicting results. We have characterized the glomus cell phenotype of TASK-null mice and studied the responses of individual cells to hypoxia and other chemical stimuli. CB morphology and glomus cell size were normal in wild-type as well as in TASK1/ or double TASK1/3/ mice. Patch-clamped TASK1/3-null glomus cells had significantly higher membrane resistance and less hyperpolarized resting potential than their wild-type counterpart. These electrical parameters were practically normal in TASK1/ cells. Sensitivity of background currents to changes of extracellular pH was drastically diminished in TASK1/3-null cells. In contrast with these observations, responsiveness to hypoxia or hypercapnia of either TASK1/ or double TASK1/3/ cells, as estimated by the amperometric measurement of catecholamine release, was apparently normal. TASK1/3 knockout cells showed an enhanced secretory rate in basal (normoxic) conditions compatible with their increased excitability. Responsiveness to hypoxia of TASK1/3-null cells was maintained after pharmacological blockade of maxi-K+ channels. These data in the TASK-null mouse model indicate that TASK3 channels contribute to the background K+ current in glomus cells and to their sensitivity to external pH. They also suggest that, although TASK1 channels might be dispensable for O2/CO2 sensing in mouse CB cells, TASK3 channels (or TASK1/3 heteromers) could mediate hypoxic depolarization of normal glomus cells. The ability of TASK1/3/ glomus cells to maintain a powerful response to hypoxia even after blockade of maxi-K+ channels, suggests the existence of multiple sensor and/or effector mechanisms, which could confer upon the cells a high adaptability to maintain their chemosensory function.