Among the several types of cells composing the airway epithelium, the ciliary cells are responsible for one of the most important defense mechanisms. Changes in the cytoplasmic Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i) are the main driving force controlling ciliary activity. In mouse ciliary cells, membrane hyperpolarization from −20 to −60 mV under whole-cell voltage-clamp induced a slow but significant [Ca2+]i rise. This rise was completely inhibited by the removal of Ca2+ from the extracellular solution. Application of diazoxide, an ATP-dependent K+ channel opener, dose-dependently induced a membrane hyperpolarization (EC50 = 2.3 μM), which was prevented by the addition of 5 μM glibenclamide. Moreover, the application of 10 μM diazoxide induced a significant [Ca2+]i rise and facilitated ciliary movement demonstrating that a KATP opener may be beneficial in facilitating ciliary movement.
See article at J Pharmacol Exp Ther 2013 347:145–153.
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