Electrophysiological characterization of cultured hepatic stellate cells in rats

Satoshi Kashiwagi, Makoto Suematsu, Yoshiyuki Wakabayashi, Norifumi Kawada, Masaaki Tachibana, Amane Koizumi, Masayasu Inoue, Yuzuru Ishimura, Akimichi Kaneko

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23 Citations (Scopus)


This study aimed to examine electrophysiological properties of cultured rat hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) using the whole cell configuration of patch-clamp technique. At least three different current components were identified. First, when the membrane was depolarized to voltages more positive than -40 mV, a transient outward K+ current was evoked. Second, membrane hyperpolarization below -60 mV evoked a sustained and inward- rectifying K+ current. The third component was a current flowing outward, which was activated when the cell was depolarized more positively than 0 mV. The channel for this current allowed Na+, K+, and Cl- to pass nonspecifically, suggesting the presence of hemi gap-junctional channel. Furthermore, a laser photobleaching technique revealed the presence of gap junctions between adjacent HSCs. A voltage-gated Ca2+ current, which is known to occur in smooth muscle cells, was searched for but was not detectable. These results suggest that membrane potential of HSCs is determined specifically by the two distinct K+ channels and by an intercellular mechanism involving gapjunctional communication.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)G742-G750
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
Issue number4 35-4
Publication statusPublished - 1997 Apr


  • calcium ion channel
  • gap junction
  • microvascular tone
  • patch clamp
  • pericytes
  • potassium ion channel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Physiology (medical)


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