Although astrocytic swelling is likely to mediate brain edema and high ICP after traumatic brain injury, the mechanism is not understood. We employed whole cell patch clamp electrophysiology and a stretch injury model to understand whether volume regulating ion currents are altered following cell injury. Mixed rat astrocytes and neurons were co-cultured on deformable silastic membranes. Mild-moderate cell injury was produced using a timed pulse of pressurized air to deform the silastic substrates by 6.5 mm. Then, ion currents were recorded with patch clamp methods. Cells were held at -65 mV and were stepped to +10 mV to monitor current changes. RESULTS: In unstretched astrocytes, small amplitude currents were obtained under isotonic conditions. Hypotonic solution activated an outwardly-rectifying current which reversed near -40 mV. This current resembled a previously reported anion current whose activation may restore cell volume by mediating a net solute efflux. In contrast, stretch injured cells exhibited a large amplitude, nonrectifying current. This current was not due to non-specific ionic leakage, since it was fully suppressed by the cation channel blocker gadolinium. Activation of novel stretch-activated cation currents may exacerbate cell swelling in injured astrocytes. Stretch injured astrocytes thus express a dysfunctional cation current as opposed to an osmoregulatory anion current. This mechanism, if present in vivo, may contribute to the cytotoxic swelling seen after traumatic brain injury.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Acta neurochirurgica. Supplement|
|State||Published - 2000|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology