Pflügers Archiv

, Volume 402, Issue 1, pp 18–23 | Cite as

Single K+ channels in membrane evaginations of smooth muscle cells

  • W. Berger
  • R. Grygorcyk
  • W. Schwarz
Excitable Tissues and Central Nervous Physiology


Attempts have been made to apply the patch-clamp technique to enzymatically dispersed smooth muscle cells of frog and toad stomach. The rate of successful gigaseal formation has been extremely low, but better results can be obtained when patches are taken from membrane evaginations which develop on single cells after mechanical agitation and incubation in Ca2+-containing solutions at 25° C. Also ball-shaped single cells formed by the confluence of membrane evaginations were found to be equally useful for patch-clamp studies. Giga-seal formation was obtained in more than 80% of all attempts. Electron micrographs indicate that the myofilaments in membrane evaginations an in ball-shaped cells are separated from the cell membrane. Channel activity in membrane patches of such “myoballs” or evaginations is similar to the channel activity as found in intact cells. Two types of K+ channels (100 and 200 pS) have been observed that can be blocked by tetraethylammonium. Channels with the conductance of 200 pS are activated by intracellular Ca2+. The formation of evaginations has also been observed in other cells and may help to apply the patch-clamp technique to cells contaminated with surface coats.

Key words

Single smooth muscle cell Patch clamp Potassium channel Membrane evagination 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. Berger
    • 1
  • R. Grygorcyk
    • 2
  • W. Schwarz
    • 2
  1. 1.I. Physiologisches Institut der Universität des SaarlandesHomburg-Saar
  2. 2.Max-Planck-Institut für BiophysikFrankfurt/M-71Germany

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