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Original Article

Korean J Physiol Pharmacol 2022; 26(1): 25-36

Published online January 1, 2022 https://doi.org/10.4196/kjpp.2022.26.1.25

Copyright © Korean J Physiol Pharmacol.

Carbon monoxide activation of delayed rectifier potassium currents of human cardiac fibroblasts through diverse pathways

Hyemi Bae1, Taeho Kim2, and Inja Lim1,*

1Department of Physiology, College of Medicine, Chung-Ang University, Seoul 06974, 2Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, Chung-Ang University Hospital, Seoul 06973, Korea

Correspondence to:Inja Lim
E-mail: injalim@cau.ac.kr

Received: July 28, 2021; Revised: September 28, 2021; Accepted: September 28, 2021

This is an Open Access journal distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


To identify the effect and mechanism of carbon monoxide (CO) on delayed rectifier K+ currents (IK) of human cardiac fibroblasts (HCFs), we used the wholecell mode patch-clamp technique. Application of CO delivered by carbon monoxidereleasing molecule-3 (CORM3) increased the amplitude of outward K+ currents, and diphenyl phosphine oxide-1 (a specific IK blocker) inhibited the currents. CORM3- induced augmentation was blocked by pretreatment with nitric oxide synthase blockers (L-NG-monomethyl arginine citrate and L-NG-nitro arginine methyl ester). Pretreatment with KT5823 (a protein kinas G blocker), 1H-[1,-2,-4] oxadiazolo-[4,-3-a] quinoxalin-1-on (ODQ, a soluble guanylate cyclase blocker), KT5720 (a protein kinase A blocker), and SQ22536 (an adenylate cyclase blocker) blocked the CORM3 stimulating effect on IK. In addition, pretreatment with SB239063 (a p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase [MAPK] blocker) and PD98059 (a p44/42 MAPK blocker) also blocked the CORM3’s effect on the currents. When testing the involvement of S-nitrosylation, pretreatment of N-ethylmaleimide (a thiol-alkylating reagent) blocked CO-induced IK activation and DL-dithiothreitol (a reducing agent) reversed this effect. Pretreatment with 5,10,15,20-tetrakis(1-methylpyridinium-4-yl)-21H,23H porphyrin manganese (III) pentachloride and manganese (III) tetrakis (4-benzoic acid) porphyrin chloride (superoxide dismutase mimetics), diphenyleneiodonium chloride (an NADPH oxidase blocker), or allopurinol (a xanthine oxidase blocker) also inhibited CO-induced IK activation. These results suggest that CO enhances IK in HCFs through the nitric oxide, phosphorylation by protein kinase G, protein kinase A, and MAPK, S-nitrosylation and reduction/oxidation (redox) signaling pathways.

Keywords: Carbon monoxide, Delayed rectifier K+ currents, Nitric oxide, Protein kinase, Signaling