Pflügers Archiv : European journal of physiology. vol:411 issue:6 pages:654-60
Radial glial (Müller) cells were isolated from rabbit retinae by papaine and mechanical dissociation. Regional membrane properties of these cells were studied by using the patch-clamp technique. In the course of our experiments, we found three distinct types of large K+ conducting channels. The vitread process membrane was dominated by high conductance inwardly rectifying (HCR) channels which carried, in the open state, inward currents along a conductance of about 105 pS (symmetrical solutions with 140 mM K+) but almost no outward currents. In the membrane of the soma and the proximal distal process, we found low conductance inwardly rectifying (LCR) channels which had an open state-conductance of about 60 pS and showed rather weak rectification. The endfoot membrane, on the other hand, was found to contain non-rectifying very high conductance (VHC) channels with an open state-conductance of about 360 pS (same solutions). These results suggest that mammalian Müller cells express regional membrane specializations which are optimized to carry spatial buffering currents of excess K+ ions.