Presentation_1_A Calcium-Dependent Chloride Current Increases Repetitive Firing in Mouse Sympathetic Neurons.PDF

Ca2+-activated ion channels shape membrane excitability in response to elevations in intracellular Ca2+. The most extensively studied Ca2+-sensitive ion channels are Ca2+-activated K+ channels, whereas the physiological importance of Ca2+-activated Cl- channels has been poorly studied. Here we show that a Ca2+-activated Cl- currents (CaCCs) modulate repetitive firing in mouse sympathetic ganglion cells. Electrophysiological recording of mouse sympathetic neurons in an in vitro preparation of the superior cervical ganglion (SCG) identifies neurons with two different firing patterns in response to long depolarizing current pulses (1 s). Neurons classified as phasic (Ph) made up 67% of the cell population whilst the remainders were tonic (T). When a high frequency train of spikes was induced by intracellular current injection, SCG sympathetic neurons reached an afterpotential mainly dependent on the ratio of activation of two Ca2+-dependent currents: the K+ [IK(Ca)] and CaCC. When the IK(Ca) was larger, an afterhyperpolarization was the predominant afterpotential but when the CaCC was larger, an afterdepolarization (ADP) was predominant. These afterpotentials can be observed after a single action potential (AP). Ph and T neurons had similar ADPs and hence, the CaCC does not seem to determine the firing pattern (Ph or T) of these neurons. However, inhibition of Ca2+-activated Cl- channels with anthracene-9′-carboxylic acid (9AC) selectively inhibits the ADP, reducing the firing frequency and the instantaneous frequency without affecting the characteristics of single- or first-spike firing of both Ph and T neurons. Furthermore, we found that the CaCC underlying the ADP was significantly larger in SCG neurons from males than from females. Furthermore, the CaCC ANO1/TMEM16A was more strongly expressed in male than in female SCGs. Blocking ADPs with 9AC did not modify synaptic transmission in either Ph or T neurons. We conclude that the CaCC responsible for ADPs increases repetitive firing in both Ph and T neurons, and it is more relevant in male mouse sympathetic ganglion neurons.