RESEARCH ARTICLE


Cation Channels in Erythrocytes - Historical and Future Perspective



Lars Kaestner*
Institute for Molecular Cell Biology, Medical Faculty, Saarland University, 66421 Homburg/Saar, Germany.


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© 2011 Lars Kaestner.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode. This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Institute for Molecular Cell Biology, Medical Faculty, Saarland University, 66421 Homburg/Saar, Germany; Tel: +49 6841 1626 103; Fax: +49 6841 1626104; E-mail: dr.lars.kaestner@uniklinikum-saarland.de


Abstract

Compared to ion pumps and carriers, ion channels have been quite late recognised as individual transport identities in red blood cells. Here the transition from cell population based flux experiments to single cell based patchclamp investigations are described in detail. The present knowledge of cation channels in red blood cells from their molecular identity to their electrophysiological properties are summarised. Tendencies and novel concepts for future research concerning ion-transport across the red blood cell membrane are discussed.

Keywords: Red blood cells, calcium homeostasis, cation flux, electrophysiology, patch-clamp.