Volume sensitive chloride currents in primary cultures of human fetal vas deferens epithelial cells

J. P. Winpenny*, C. J. Mathews, B. Verdon, C. J C Wardle, J. A. Chambers, A. Harris, B. E. Argent, M. A. Gray

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Using the patch-clamp technique, we have identified a large, outwardly rectifying, Cl--selective whole-cell current in primary cultures of human vas deferens epithelial cells. Whole-cell currents were time-and voltage-dependent and displayed inactivation following depolarising pulses ≤60 mV. Currents were equally permeable to bromide (P(Br)/P(Cl) = 1.05 ± 0.04), iodide (P1/P(Cl) = 1.06 ± 0.07) and Cl-, but significantly less permeable to gluconate (P(Gluc)/P(Cl) = 0.23 ± 0.03). Currents spontaneously increased with time after establishing a whole-cell recording, but could be inhibited by exposure to a hypertonic bath solution which reduced inward currents by 68 ± 4%. Subsequent exposure of the cells to a hypotonic bath solution led to a 418 ± 110% increase in inward current, indicating that these currents are regulated by osmolarity. 4,4'-Diisothiocyanatostilbene-2,2'-disulphonic acid (100 μM) produced a rapid and reversible voltage-dependent block (60 ± 5% and 10 ± 7% inhibition of current, measured at ± 60 mV, respectively). Dideoxyforskolin (50 μM) also reduced the volume-sensitive Cl- current, but with a much slower time course, by 41 ± 13% and 32 ± 16% (measured at ± 60mV, respectively). Tamoxifen (10 μM) had no effect on the whole-cell Cl-current. These results suggest that vas deferens epithelial cells possess a volume-sensitive Cl- conductance which has biophysical and pharmacological properties broadly similar to volume-sensitive Cl- currents previously described in a variety of cell types.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)644-654
Number of pages11
JournalPflugers Archiv European Journal of Physiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1996


  • Patch-clamp
  • Vas deferens
  • Volume-sensitive Cl current
  • Whole-cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Physiology (medical)


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