Uncouplers of mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation, including carbonilcyanide p-triflouromethoxyphenylhydrazone (FCCP) and carbonilcyanide m-cholorophenylhydrazone (CCCP), are widely used in experimental research to investigate the role of mitochondria in cellular function. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to interpret the results obtained in intact cells using FCCP and CCCP, as these agents not only inhibit mitochondrial potential, but may also affect membrane potential and cell volume. Here we show by whole-cell patch clamping that in primary rat hepatocytes and H4IIE liver cells, FCCP induced large proton currents across the plasma membrane, but did not activate any other observable conductance. In intact hepatocytes FCCP inhibits thapsigargin-activated store-operated Ca2+ entry, but in patch clamping under the conditions of strong Ca2+ buffering it has no effect on store-operated Ca2+ current (ISOC). These results indicate that there is no direct connection between mitochondria and activation of ISOC in liver cells and support the notion of indirect regulation of ISOC by mitochondrial Ca2+ buffering.
- Liver cells
- Store-operated Ca channels