Ionic selectivity of native ATP-activated (P2X) receptor channels in dissociated neurones from rat parasympathetic ganglia
1. The relative permeability of the native P2X receptor channel to monovalent and divalent inorganic and organic cations was determined from reversal potential measurements of ATP-evoked currents in parasympathetic neurones dissociated from rat submandibular ganglia using the dialysed whole-cell patch clamp technique. 2. The P2X receptor-channel exhibited weak selectivity among the alkali metals with a selectivity sequence of Na+ > Li+ > Cs+ > Rb+ > K+, and permeability ratios relative to Cs+ (PX/PCs) ranging from 1.11 to 0.86. 3. The selectivity for the divalent alkaline earth cations was also weak with the sequence Ca2+ > Sr2+ > Ba2+ > Mn2+ > Mg2+. ATP-evoked currents were strongly inhibited when the extracellular divalent cation concentration was increased. 4. The calculated permeability ratios of different ammonium cations are higher than those of the alkali metal cations. The permeability sequence obtained for the saturated organic cations is inversely correlated with the size of the cation. The unsaturated organic cations have a higher permeability than that predicted by molecular size. 5. Acidification to pH 6.2 increased the ATP-induced current amplitude twofold, whereas alkalization to 8.2 and 9.2 markedly reduced current amplitude. Cell dialysis with either anti-P2X2 and/or anti-P2X4 but not anti-P2X1 antibodies attenuated the ATP-evoked current amplitude. Taken together, these data are consistent with homomeric and/or heteromeric P2X2 and P2X4 receptor subtypes expressed in rat submandibular neurones. 6. The permeability ratios for the series of monovalent organic cations, with the exception of unsaturated cations, were approximately related to the ionic size. The relative permeabilities of the monovalent inorganic and organic cations tested are similar to those reported previously for cloned rat P2X2 receptors expressed in mammalian cells.