Molecular pharmacology

Stimulatory effects of delta-hexachlorocyclohexane on Ca(2+)-activated K(+) currents in GH(3) lactotrophs.

PMID 10779368


delta-Hexachlorocyclohexane (delta-HCH), a lipophilic neurodepressant agent, has been shown to inhibit neurotransmitter release and stimulate ryanodine-sensitive Ca(2+) channels. However, the effect of delta-HCH on neuronal activity remains unclear, although it may enhance the gamma-aminobutyric acid-induced current. Its effects on ionic currents were investigated in rat pituitary GH(3) cells and human neuroblastoma IMR-32 cells. In GH(3) cells, delta-HCH increased the amplitude of Ca(2+)-activated K(+) current (I(K(Ca))). delta-HCH (100 microM) slightly inhibited the amplitude of voltage-dependent K(+) current. delta-HCH (30 microM) suppressed voltage-dependent L-type Ca(2+) current (I(Ca, L)), whereas gamma-HCH (30 microM) had no effect on I(Ca, L). In the inside-out configuration, delta-HCH applied intracellularly did not change the single channel conductance of large conductance Ca(2+)-activated K(+) (BK(Ca)) channels; however, it did increase the channel activity. The delta-HCH-mediated increase in the channel activity is mainly mediated by its increase in the number of long-lived openings. delta-HCH reversibly increased the activity of BK(Ca) channels in a concentration-dependent manner with an EC(50) value of 20 microM. delta-HCH also caused a left shift in the midpoint for the voltage-dependent opening. In contrast, gamma-HCH (30 microM) suppressed the activity of BK(Ca) channels. Under the current-clamp mode, delta-HCH (30 microM) reduced the firing rate of spontaneous action potentials; however, gamma-HCH (30 microM) increased it. In neuroblastoma IMR-32 cells, delta-HCH also increased the amplitude of I(K(Ca)) and stimulated the activity of intermediate-conductance K(Ca) channels. This study provides evidence that delta-HCH is an opener of K(Ca) channels. The effects of delta-HCH on these channels may partially, if not entirely, be responsible for the underlying cellular mechanisms by which delta-HCH affects neuronal or neuroendocrine function.