TRPV4 in porcine lens epithelium regulates hemichannel-mediated ATP release and Na-K-ATPase activity

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64 Scopus citations


In several tissues, transient receptor potential vanilloid 4 (TRPV4) channels are involved in the response to hyposmotic challenge. Here we report TRPV4 protein in porcine lens epithelium and show that TRPV4 activation is an important step in the response of the lens to hyposmotic stress. Hyposmotic solution (200 mosM) elicited ATP release from intact lenses and TRPV4 antagonists HC 067047 and RN 1734 prevented the release. In isosmotic solution, the TRPV4 agonist GSK1016790A (GSK) elicited ATP release. When propidium iodide (PI) (MW 668) was present in the bathing medium, GSK and hyposmotic solution both increased PI entry into the epithelium of intact lenses. Increased PI uptake and ATP release in response to GSK and hyposmotic solution were abolished by a mixture of agents that block connexin and pannexin hemichannels, 18α-glycyrrhetinic acid and probenecid. Increased Na-K-ATPase activity occurred in the epithelium of lenses exposed to GSK and 18α-glycyrrhetinic acid + probenecid prevented the response. Hyposmotic solution caused activation of Src family kinase and increased Na-K-ATPase activity in the lens epithelium and TRPV4 antagonists prevented the response. Ionomycin, which is known to increase cytoplasmic calcium, elicited ATP release, the magnitude of which was no greater when lenses were exposed simultaneously to ionomycin and hyposmotic solution. Iono-mycin-induced ATP release was significantly reduced in calcium-free medium. TRPV4-mediated calcium entry was examined in Fura-2-loaded cultured lens epithelium. Hyposmotic solution and GSK both increased cytoplasmic calcium that was prevented by TRPV4 antagonists. The cytoplasmic calcium rise in response to hyposmotic solution or GSK was abolished when calcium was removed from the bathing solution. The findings are consistent with hyposmotic shock-induced TRPV4 channel activation which triggers hemichannel-mediated ATP release. The results point to TRPV4-mediated calcium entry that causes a cytoplasmic calcium increase which is an essential early step in the mechanism used by the lens to sense and respond to hyposmotic stress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)C1751-C1761
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Cell Physiology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 15 2012


  • Connexin and pannexin
  • Src family kinase
  • TRPV4 channel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cell Biology


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