Cell-volume changes and ion conductances in amphibian gallbladder epithelium

Luis Reuss*, Carlos A. Vanoye, Guillermo A. Altenberg, Leoncio Vergara, Muthangi Subramaniam, Rubén Torres

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Cell-volume regulation after hyposmotic swelling is common in transporting epithelial cells. Acute regulatory volume decrease is mediated in several cell types by loss of K + and Cl - via channels either activated by the swelling phenomenon or active in the cell membrane prior to swelling. In the last two decades, it has become clear that many features of cell-volume regulation mediated by ion fluxes vary considerably among cell types. In some instances, the ion channel activation, although demonstrable, is insufficient to account, on the basis of ion fluxes, for the measured cell volume changes. Here we review the case of a salt-transporting epithelium in which hyposmotic cell swelling activates plasma membrane K + channels, but at the same time inhibits Cl - channels, thus preventing an acute volume-regulatory response. The sequence of events following cell swelling appears to be as follows: K + channels are activated by membrane stretch, the cell membrane hyperpolarizes (the voltage moves closer to the K + equilibrium potential) and this hyperpolarization reduces the Cl - conductance, likely by a reduction in open probability of voltage-sensitive Cl - channels. The significance of this phenomenon may be related to the preservation of intracellular Cl - rather than cell volume, or to a physiological "need" to prevent shrinkage of cells stimulated by hormones or other mediators.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)385-392
Number of pages8
JournalCellular Physiology and Biochemistry
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000


  • Chloride channels
  • Cross talk
  • Epithelial transport
  • Mechanosensitive channels
  • Potassium channels

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology


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