The hypertonic environment of the renal medulla can change rapidly according to the state of hydration of the animal. We used primary cultures of rat inner medullary collecting duct (IMCD) cells to investigate the characteristics of Cl- currents activated by an acute reduction in osmolarity (ICl(osm)). Using the whole cell patch-clamp technique, we identified an outwardly rectifying current that decayed slowly at strongly depolarizing voltages. The onset of ICl(osm) began 6.7 min after the fall in bath osmolarity, a delay longer than reported in other cell types. Hypotonicity did not induce an increase in intracellular Ca2+ concentration, and activation of ICl(osm) did not require the presence of Ca2+. Intracellular ATP was needed to evoke ICl(osm) when the hypotonic stimulus was modest (50 mosmol/l or less) but was not necessary when the stimulus was stronger (100 mosmol/ l). ICl(osm) was inhibited by 5-nitro-2-(3-phenylpropylamino)benzoic acid but not by tamoxifen or glibenclamide. 4,4'-Diisothiocyanostilbene-2,2'-disulfonic acid produced a voltage-dependent block. Acute reduction in osmolarity using cells grown on filters did not induce a Cl- secretory current. The ICl(osm) of IMCD cells appears to be on the basolateral membrane and displays some unique features.
- Copyright © 1996 the American Physiological Society