Chondrocytes are the resident cells of articular cartilage and are responsible for synthesizing a range of collagenous and non-collagenous extracellular matrix macromolecules. Whilst chondrocytes exist at low densities in the tissue (1–10% of the total tissue volume in mature cartilage) they are extremely active cells and are capable of responding to a range of mechanical and biochemical stimuli. These responses are necessary for the maintenance of viable cartilage and may be compromised in inflammatory diseases such as arthritis. Although chondrocytes are non-excitable cells their plasma membrane contains a rich complement of ion channels. This diverse channelome appears to be as complex as one might expect to find in excitable cells although, in the case of chondrocytes, their functions are far less well understood. The ion channels so far identified in chondrocytes include potassium channels (KATP, BK, Kv, and SK), sodium channels (epithelial sodium channels, voltage activated sodium channels), transient receptor potential calcium or non-selective cation channels and chloride channels. In this review we describe this emerging channelome and discuss the possible functions of a range of chondrocyte ion channels.
Keywords: chondrocyte, Kv channel, KATP channel, BK (MaxiK) channel, ENaC
Citation: Barrett-Jolley R, Lewis R, Fallman R and Mobasheri A (2010) The emerging chondrocyte channelome. Front. Physio. 1:135. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2010.00135
Received: 07 July 2010;
Accepted: 09 September 2010;
Published online: 14 October 2010
Edited by:Antonio Felipe, Universitat de Barcelona, Spain
Reviewed by:Carmen Valenzuela, Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas CSIC-UAM, Spain
Copyright: © 2010 Barrett-Jolley, Lewis, Fallman and Mobasheri. This is an open-access article subject to an exclusive license agreement between the authors and the Frontiers Research Foundation, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original authors and source are credited.
*Correspondence: Ali Mobasheri, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, University of Nottingham, Sutton Bonington Campus, Sutton Bonington, Nottingham, Leicestershire LE12 5RD, UK.e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org