Journal of Physiology-London vol:506 ( Pt 2) pages:353-61
1. We have studied the effects of intracellular ionic strength (gamma 1) on the swelling-activated whole-cell Cl- current (ICl,swell) in cultured calf pulmonary artery endothelial cells (CPAE cells). 2. Reducing gamma 1 from 155 to 95 mM at constant osmolarity and Cl- concentration activates an outwardly rectifying current that is mainly carried by Cl- ions and inactivates at positive potentials. The amplitude of the current is larger at more reduced levels of gamma 1. 3. The permeability ratio for the anions I-, Br-, Cl- and gluconate (PI: PBr: PCl: Pgluc) was 1.35:1.03:1:0.17. 4. Blockers of the swelling-activated Cl- current in CPAE cells also inhibit the current which is activated by a reduction in gamma 1 with an IC50 of 1.1 microM for tamoxifen, 1.3 microM for mibefradil, and 35 microM for quinidine. 5. The protein tyrosine kinase inhibitors tyrphostin B46 (50 microM) and genistein (100 microM), which inhibit ICl,swell in CPAE cells, also inhibited the gamma 1-induced current by 92.9 +/- 2.4% (n = 3) and 41.2 +/- 5.0% (n = 4), respectively. 6. Hypertonic extracellular solutions rapidly and reversibly antagonized the gamma 1-activated current, whereas increasing gamma 1 from 155 to 195 mM precluded activation of ICl,swell by hypotonic shock. 7. It is concluded that a reduction of gamma 1 activates an anion current that is identical to that activated by cell swelling. Changes in intracellular ionic strength may shift the volume set point for activation of ICl,swell.