Chemoreception pp 147-154 | Cite as

Regulation of K+ Currents by CO in Carotid Body type I Cells and Pulmonary Artery Smooth Muscle Cells

  • Prem Kumar
  • Eric Dubuis
  • Christophe Vandier
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 536)


Potassium channels are a diverse group of proteins that control membrane excitability and their regulation can influence cell signalling through the modulation of calcium entry. A subset of these channels appears to be particularly sensitive to oxygen tension and these play an important role in the regulation of arterial blood gas tensions. In pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cells, K+ channel activity is linked to contractile tone. Factors that regulate the activity of these channels therefore have a major influence upon blood vessel diameter and therefore on pulmonary artery (PA) blood pressure, thus altering regional ventilation -perfusion ratios in the lung. In carotid body (CB) type I cells, K+ channel activity is linked to the secretion of a variety of putative neurotransmitter and regulation of these channels therefore influences carotid sinus nerve activity and thus cardiorespiratory control. In both systems, hypoxia decreases the activity of a variety of K+ channels, some of which regulate the resting membrane potential. In CB type I cells and in PA smooth muscle cells, hypoxia decreases the activity of the TASK-1 channel (a background K+ channels in type one cells and probably KN channels in PA (Gurney et al.2002)), large conductance Ca2+-activated (BKca) channels and/or voltage-activated (Kv) channels depending on species and experimental conditions (Lopez-Barneo et al.2001).


Carotid Body Rest Membrane Potential Chronic Hypoxia BKca Channel Hypoxic Pulmonary Vasoconstriction 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Prem Kumar
    • 1
  • Eric Dubuis
    • 2
  • Christophe Vandier
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PhysiologyThe Medical School, University of BirminghamBirminghamUK
  2. 2.Laboratoire de physiopathologie de la paroi arterielle (LABPART)Faculte de MedecineToursFrance

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