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Stretch-induced relaxation has not been clearly identified in gastrointestinal tract. The present study is to explore the role of large conductance calcium-activated potassium channels (BKCa) in stretch-induced relaxation of colon. The expression and currents of BKCa were detected and the basal muscle tone and contraction amplitude of colonic smooth muscle strips were measured. The expression of BKCa in colon is higher than other GI segments (P < 0.05). The density of BKCa currents was very high in colonic smooth muscle cells (SMCs). BKCa in rat colonic SMCs were sensitive to stretch. The relaxation response of colonic SM strips to stretch was attenuated by charybdotoxin (ChTX), a nonspecific BKCa blocker (P < 0.05). After blocking enteric nervous activities by tetrodotoxin (TTX), the stretch-induced relaxation did not change (P > 0.05). Still, ChTX and iberiotoxin (IbTX, a specific BKCa blocker) attenuated the relaxation of the colonic muscle strips enduring stretch (P < 0.05). These results suggest stretch-activation of BKCa in SMCs was involved in the stretch-induced relaxation of colon. Our study highlights the role of mechanosensitive ion channels in SMCs in colon motility regulation and their physiological and pathophysiological significance is worth further study.


Jie Ren, Fang Xin, Ping Liu, Hai-Yan Zhao, Si-Tao Zhang, Peng Han, Hai-Xia Huang, Wei Wang. Role of BKCa in Stretch-Induced Relaxation of Colonic Smooth Muscle. BioMed research international. 2016;2016:9497041

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PMID: 28018918

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