Chloride channels are important for astrocytic volume regulation and K + buffering. We demonstrate functional expression of a hyperpolarization-activated Cl- current in a subpopulation of astrocytes in acute slices or after fresh isolation from adult brain of GFAP/EGFP transgenic animals in which astrocytes are selectively labeled. When Na+ and K+ were substituted with NMDG+ and Cs+ in extra- and intracellular solutions, an inward current was observed at negative membrane potentials. The current displayed features as described for a Cl- current characterized in cultured astrocytes: it activated time dependently at potentials negative to -40 mV, displayed no inactivation within 1 s, and was inhibited reversibly by submicromolar concentrations of Cd2+. The current was not detectable in astrocytes from ClC-2 knockout mice, indicating that the ClC-2 chloride channel generated the conductance. Current density was significantly lower in a corresponding population of astrocytes isolated from immature brain and in reactive astrocytes within a lesion site.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
- Cell Biology