We studied the modulation of pacemaker activities by bradykinin in cultured interstitial cells of Cajal (ICC) from murine small intestine with the whole-cell patch-clamp technique. Externally applied bradykinin produced membrane depolarization in the current-clamp mode and increased tonic inward pacemaker currents in the voltage-clamp mode. Pretreatment with bradykinin B1 antagonist did not block the bradykinin-induced effects on pacemaker currents. However, pretreatment with bradykinin B2 antagonist selectively blocked the bradykinin-induced effects. Also, only externally applied selective bradykinin B2 receptor agonist produced tonic inward pacemaker currents and ICC revealed a colocalization of the bradykinin B2 receptor and c-kit immunoreactivities, but bradykinin B1 receptors did not localize in ICC. External Na +-free solution abolished the generation of pacemaker currents and inhibited the bradykinin-induced tonic inward current. However, a Cl - channel blocker (DIDS) did not block the bradykinin-induced tonic inward current. The pretreatment with Ca 2+-free solution and thapsigargin, a Ca 2+-ATPase inhibitor in endoplasmic reticulum, abolished the generation of pacemaker currents and suppressed the bradykinin-induced action. Chelerythrine and calphostin C, protein kinase C inhibitors or naproxen, an inhibitor of cyclooxygenase, did not block the bradykinin-induced effects on pacemaker currents. These results suggest that bradykinin modulates the pacemaker activities through bradykinin B2 receptor activation in ICC by external Ca 2+ influx and internal Ca 2+ release via protein kinase C- or cyclooxygenase-independent mechanism. Therefore, the ICC are targets for bradykinin and their interaction can affect intestinal motility.
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