Pore properties and pharmacological features of the P2X receptor channel in airway ciliated cells

Weiyuan Ma, Alon Korngreen, Simy Weil, Enbal Ben Tal Cohen, Avi Priel, Liubov Kuzin, Shai D. Silberberg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


Airway ciliated cells express an ATP-gated P2X receptor channel of unknown subunit composition (P2Xcilia) which is modulated by Na+ and by long exposures to ATP. P2Xcilia was investigated by recording currents from freshly dissociated rabbit airway ciliated cells with the patch-clamp technique in the whole-cell configuration. During the initial continuous exposure to extracellular ATP, P2Xcilia currents gradually increase in magnitude (priming), yet the permeability to N-methyl-D-glucamine (NMDG) does not change, indicating that priming does not arise from a progressive change in pore diameter. Na+, which readily permeates P2Xcilia receptor channels, was found to inhibit the channel extracellular to the electric field. The rank order of permeability to various monovalent cations is: Li+, Na+, K+, Rb+, Cs+, NMDG+ and TEA+, with a relative permeability of 1.35, 1.0, 0.99, 0.91, 0.79, 0.19 and 0.10, respectively. The rank order for the alkali cations follows an Eisenman series XI for a high-strength field site. Ca2+has been estimated to be 7-fold more permeant than Na+. The rise in [Ca2+]i in ciliated cells, induced by the activation of P2Xcilia, is largely inhibited by either Brilliant Blue G or KN-62, indicating that P2X7 may be a part of P2Xcilia. P2Xcilia is augmented by Zn2+ and by ivermectin, and P2X4 receptor protein is detected by immunolabelling at the basal half of the cilia, strongly suggesting that P2X4 is a component of P2Xcilia receptor channels. Taken together, these results suggest that P2Xcilia is either assembled from P2X4 and P2X7 subunits, or formed from modified P2X4 subunits.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)503-517
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2006
Externally publishedYes


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