Taste bud type II cells fire action potentials in response to tastants, triggering non-vesicular ATP release to gustatory neurons via voltage-gated CALHM1-associated ion channels. Whereas CALHM1 regulates mouse cortical neuron excitability, its roles in regulating type II cell excitability are unknown. Here, we compared membrane conductances and action potentials in single identified TRPM5-GFP-expressing circumvallate papillae type II cells acutely isolated from wild-type (WT) and Calhm1-knockout (KO) mice. The activation kinetics of large voltage-gated outward currents were accelerated in cells from Calhm1-KO mice, and their associated non-selective tail currents, previously shown to be highly correlated with ATP release, were completely absent in Calhm1-KO cells, suggesting that CALHM1 contributes to all of these currents. Calhm1 deletion did not significantly alter resting membrane potential or input resistance, the amplitudes and kinetics of Na+ currents either estimated from action potentials or recorded from steady-state voltage-pulses, or action potential threshold, overshoot peak, after-hyperpolarization and firing frequency. However, Calhm1-deletion reduced the half-widths of action potentials and accelerated the deactivation kinetics of transient outward currents, suggesting that the CALHM1-associated conductance becomes activated during the repolarization phase of action potentials.
- ATP release channel
- voltage-gated ion channel
- taste bud
- voltage clamp
- Copyright © 2016, Journal of Neurophysiology