Contribution of epoxyeicosatrienoic acids to the hypoxia-induced activation of Ca2+-activated K+ channel current in cultured rat hippocampal astrocytes

Ken Yamaura, D. Gebremedhin, C. Zhang, J. Narayanan, K. Hoefert, E. R. Jacobs, R. C. Koehler, D. R. Harder

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38 Citations (Scopus)


Brief hypoxia differentially regulates the activities of Ca2+-activated K+ channels (KCa) in a variety of cell types. We investigated the effects of hypoxia (<2% O2) on KCa channel currents and on the activities of cytochrome P450 2C11 epoxygenase (CYP epoxygenase) in cultured rat hippocampal astrocytes. Exposure of astrocytes to hypoxia enhanced macroscopic outward KCa current, increased the open state probability (NPo) of 71 pS and 161 pS single-channel KCa currents in cell-attached patches, but failed to increase the NPo of both the 71 pS and 161 pS KCa channel currents recorded from excised inside-out patches. The hypoxia-induced enhancement of macroscopic KCa current was attenuated by pretreatment with tetraethylammonium (TEA, 1 mM) or during recording using low-Ca2+ external bath solution. Exposure of astrocytes to hypoxia was associated with generation of superoxide as detected by staining of cells with the intracellular superoxide detection probe hydroethidine (HE), attenuation of the hypoxia-induced activation of unitary KCa channel currents by superoxide dismutation with tempol, and as quantitated by high-pressure liquid chromatography/fluorescence assay using HE as a probe. In cultured astrocytes in which endogenous CYP epoxygenase activity has been inhibited with either miconazole or N-methylsulfonyl-6-(2-propargyloxyphenyl) hexanamide (MSPPOH) hypoxia failed to increase the NPo of both the 71 pS and 161 pS KCa currents and generation of superoxide. Hypoxia increased the level of P450 epoxygenase protein and production of epoxyeicosatrienoic acids (EETs) from cultured astrocytes, as determined by immunohistochemical staining and LC/MS analysis, respectively. Exogenous 11,12-EET increased the NPo of both the 71 pS and 161 pS KCa single-channel currents only in cell-attached but not in excised inside-out patches of cultured astrocytes. These findings indicate that hypoxia enhances the activities of two types of unitary KCa currents in astrocytes by a mechanism that appears to involve CYP epoxygenase-dependent generation of superoxide and increased production or release of EETs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)703-716
Number of pages14
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Dec 13 2006
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience(all)

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