Basolateral K+ channels in airway epithelia. II. Role in Cl- secretion and evidence for two types of K+ channel.

We previously described a Ca2(+)-activated K+ channel (KCLIC) in airway epithelial cells [J. D. McCann, J. Matsuda, M. Garcia, G. Kaczorowski, and M. J. Welsh. Am. J. Physiol 258 (Lung Cell. Mol. Physiol. 2): L334-L342, 1990]. To determine whether the KCLIC channel is a basolateral membrane channel and to understand its role in Cl- secretion, we studied airway epithelial cells grown on permeable supports. When cells were stimulated with A23187, charybdotoxin (ChTX) inhibited Cl- secretion and 86Rb efflux at the same concentrations, indicating that the KCLIC channel is required for Ca2(+)-stimulated Cl- secretion. We also investigated the function of K+ channels in adenosine 3′,5′-cyclic monophosphate-stimulated secretion. Addition of isoproterenol caused a biphasic increase in Cl- secretion; the time course of the transient component correlated with the time course of the isoproterenol-induced increase in Ca2+ concentration [( Ca2+]c). ChTX inhibited the transient component, but not the prolonged component of secretion; Ba2+ inhibited the sustained component. These results suggest that when cells are grown on permeable supports isoproterenol-induced secretion depends on activation of two types of K+ channel: the KCLIC channel that is stimulated initially and a ChTX-insensitive K+ channel that is stimulated during sustained secretion. This conclusion was supported by measurement of 86Rb efflux from cell monolayers.