Royal Society Publishing

A Calcium-Activated Cation-Selective Channel in Rat Cultured Schwann Cells

S. Bevan, P. T. A. Gray, J. M. Ritchie


Calcium-activated channels, in the plasma membrane of rat cultured Schwann cells were studied in isolated `inside-out' membrane patches. With identical (150 mM NaCl) solutions on either side of the membrane, a single channel conductance of 32 pS was calculated for inward current; the conductance was somewhat less for outward current. The channel is about equally permeable to sodium and potassium ions, but is not detectably permeable to either chloride or calcium. Under our experimental conditions the channel is activated by high (more than 10$^{-4}$ M) concentrations of calcium and is sensitive to voltage, channel activity increasing with membrane depolarization.