Volume-regulated anion channels (VRAC) are widely expressed chloride channels that are critical for the cell volume regulation. In the mammalian central nervous system, the physiological expression of neuronal VRAC and its role in cerebral ischemia are issues largely unknown. We show that hypoosmotic medium induce an outwardly rectifying chloride conductance in CA1 pyramidal neurons in rat hippocampal slices. The induced chloride conductance was sensitive to some of the VRAC inhibitors, namely, IAA-94 (300 μM) and NPPB (100 μM), but not to tamoxifen (10 μM). Using oxygen-and-glucose deprivation (OGD) to simulate ischemic conditions in slices, VRAC activation appeared after OGD induced anoxic depolarization (AD) that showed a progressive increase in current amplitude over the period of post-OGD reperfusion. The OGD induced VRAC currents were significantly inhibited by inhibitors for glutamate AMPA (30 μM NBQX) and NMDA (40 μM AP-5) receptors in the OGD solution, supporting the view that induction of AD requires an excessive Na+-loading via these receptors that in turn to activate neuronal VRAC. In the presence of NPPB and DCPIB in the post-OGD reperfusion solution, the OGD induced CA1 pyramidal neuron death, as measured by TO-PRO-3-I staining, was significantly reduced, although DCPIB did not appear to be an effective neuronal VRAC blocker. Altogether, we show that rat hippocampal pyramidal neurons express functional VRAC, and ischemic conditions can initial neuronal VRAC activation that may contribute to ischemic neuronal damage. © 2011 Zhang et al.
Zhang, H., Cao, H. J., Kimelberg, H. K., & Zhou, M. (2011). Volume regulated anion channel currents of rat hippocampal neurons and their contribution to oxygen-and-glucose deprivation induced neuronal death. PLoS ONE, 6(2). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0016803