Most mammalian cells have developed compensatory mechanisms to respond to the variable osmotic stress caused by changes in the concentrations of intracellular osmo-active substances (e.g. glucose, amino acids, lactate) or by variations in the osmolarity of the surrounding medium. In response to osmotic cell swelling, the Regulatory Volume Decrease (RVD) is triggered and directs a reduction in the tonicity of the cell by the concerted opening of cation and anion selective ion channels. To date, the K+ and Cl- conductances activated upon hypo-osmotic stimulation have been characterised electrophysiologically in many different cell systems. The molecular identity of the channels however, as well as the mechanism(s) involved in their activation have not yet been fully clarified and may differ between cell types. In this review, we will evaluate the different signalling pathways activated by osmotic cell swelling and discuss their putative role(s) in ion channel regulation, in maintaining cellular volume homeostasis, and in auto- and paracrinic signal transduction, with emphasis on intestinal epithelial cells. Copyright

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Cellular Physiology and Biochemistry
Department of Biochemistry

van der Wijk, Th, Tomassen, S.F.B, de Jonge, H.R, & Tilly, B.C. (2000). Signalling mechanisms involved in volume regulation of intestinal epithelial cells. Cellular Physiology and Biochemistry (Vol. 10, pp. 289–296). doi:10.1159/000016359