Hypotonicity activates a native chloride current in Xenopus oocytes

Michael J. Ackerman, Kevin D. Wickman, David E. Clapham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

204 Scopus citations


Xenopus oocytes are frequently utilized for in vivo expression of cellular proteins, especially ion channel proteins. A thorough understanding of the endogenous conductances and their regulation is paramount for proper characterization of expressed channel proteins. Here we detail a novel chloride current (I(Cl.swell)) responsive to hypotonicity in Xenopus oocytes using the two-electrode voltage clamp technique. Reducing the extracellular osmolarity by 50% elicited a calcium-independent chloride current having an anion conductivity sequence identical with swelling-induced chloride currents observed in epithelial cells. The hypotonicity-activated current was blocked by chloride channel blockers, trivalent lanthanides, and nucleotides. G- protein, cAMP-PKA, and arachidonic acid signaling cascades were not involved in I(Cl.swell) activation. I(Cl.swell) is distinct from both stretch- activated nonselective cation channels and the calcium-activated chloride current in oocytes and may play a critical role in volume regulation in Xenopus oocytes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)153-179
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of General Physiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology


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