Objective: We describe mechanically induced non-selective cation currents in isolated rat atrial fibroblasts, which might play a role as a substrate for mechano-electrical feedback in the heart. Methods: Isolated fibroblasts were used for voltage-clamp analysis of ionic currents generating mechanically-induced potentials. Fibroblasts were mechanically deformed (compressed or stretched) by two patch-pipettes. Results: These cells had a resting potential (E0) of -37±3 mV and an input resistance of 514±11 MΩ. At intracellular pCa 7 (patch-pipette solution), compression of 2 or 3 μm shifted E0 from -36±7 to -17±3 mV, and to -10±2 mV. Compression by 2 or 3 μm induced a negative difference current (at -45 mV -0.06±0.02 and -0.20±0.04 nA, respectively) with a reversal potential (Erev) of approx. 0 mV. The currents were carried by Na+, K+ and Cs+ ions, and were blocked by application of 8 μM Gd3+. Stretch of 2 or 3 μm hyperpolarized E0 from -34±4 to -45±5, and to -61±7 mV and induced a positive difference current (at -45 mV: 0.04±0.02 and 0.18±0.03 nA) with an Erev close to 0 mV. Application of Gd3+ shifted E0 to potentials as negative as EK (-90±4 mV). Cell dialysis with 5 mM BAPTA (pCa 8) or 5 mM Ca2+/EGTA (pCa 6) had no influence on non-selective cation currents suggesting that Ca2+ dependent conductances are unlikely to contribute. Conclusion: Compression of the isolated cardiac fibroblast caused depolarization of the membrane by activating inward currents through a non-selective cation conductance (Gns). Stretch hyperpolarizes the fibroblast, however, not by Ca2+ activation of K+-conductance. Ion selectivity, Erev, and Gd3+-sensitivity of stretch suppressed currents suggest that stretch reduces Gns that is activated by compression. © 2003 European Society of Cardiology. Published by Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
Kamkin, A., Kiseleva, I., & Isenberg, G. (2003). Activation and inactivation of a non-selective cation conductance by local mechanical deformation of acutely isolated cardiac fibroblasts. Cardiovascular Research, 57(3), 793–803. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0008-6363(02)00775-7