, Volume 39, Issue 5, pp 757-767,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 13 Oct 2009

Single-channel properties of a stretch-sensitive chloride channel in the human mast cell line HMC-1


A stretch-activated (SA) Cl channel in the plasma membrane of the human mast cell line HMC-1 was identified in outside-out patch-clamp experiments. SA currents, induced by pressure applied to the pipette, exhibited voltage dependence with strong outward rectification (55.1 pS at +100 mV and an about tenfold lower conductance at −100 mV). The probability of the SA channel being open (P o) also showed steep outward rectification and pressure dependence. The open-time distribution was fitted with three components with time constants of τ1o = 755.1 ms, τ2o = 166.4 ms, and τ3o = 16.5 ms at +60 mV. The closed-time distribution also required three components with time constants of τ1c = 661.6 ms, τ2c = 253.2 ms, and τ3c = 5.6 ms at +60 mV. Lowering extracellular Cl concentration reduced the conductance, shifted the reversal potential toward chloride reversal potential, and decreased the P o at positive potentials. The SA Cl currents were reversibly blocked by the chloride channel blocker 4,4′-diisothiocyanatostilbene-2,2′-disulfonic acid (DIDS) but not by (Z)-1-(p-dimethylaminoethoxyphenyl)-1,2-diphenyl-1-butene (tamoxifen). Furthermore, in HMC-1 cells swelling due to osmotic stress, DIDS could inhibit the increase in intracellular [Ca2+] and degranulation. We conclude that in the HMC-1 cell line, the SA outward currents are mediated by Cl influx. The SA Cl channel might contribute to mast cell degranulation caused by mechanical stimuli or accelerate membrane fusion during the degranulation process.