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Department of Pharmacology

Wissing, F, Nerou, EP, Taylor, CW

Members of both major families of intracellular Ca(2+) channels, ryanodine and inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP3) receptors, are stimulated by substantial increases in cytosolic free Ca(2+) concentration ([Ca(2+)]c). They thereby mediate Ca(2+)-induced Ca(2+) release (CICR), which allows amplification and regenerative propagation of intracellular Ca(2+) signals. In permeabilized hepatocytes, increasing [Ca(2+)]c to 10 microM stimulated release of 30+/-1% of the intracellular stores within 60 s; the EC(50) occurred with a free [Ca(2+)] of 170+/-29 nM. This CICR was abolished at 2 degrees C. The same fraction of the stores was released by CICR before and after depletion of the IP3-sensitive stores, and CICR was not blocked by antagonists of IP3 receptors. Ryanodine, Ruthenium Red and tetracaine affected neither the Ca(2+) content of the stores nor the CICR response. Sr(2+) and Ba(2+) (EC(50)=166 nM and 28 microM respectively) mimicked the effects of increased [Ca(2+)] on the intracellular stores, but Ni(2+) blocked the passive leak of Ca(2+) without blocking CICR. In rapid superfusion experiments, maximal concentrations of IP3 or Ca(2+) stimulated Ca(2+) release within 80 ms. The response to IP3 was complete within 2 s, but CICR continued for tens of seconds despite a slow [half-time (t(1/2))=3.54+/-0.07 s] partial inactivation. CICR reversed rapidly (t(1/2)=529+/-17 ms) and completely when the [Ca(2+)] was reduced. We conclude that hepatocytes express a novel temperature-sensitive, ATP-independent CICR mechanism that is reversibly activated by modest increases in [Ca(2+)], and does not require IP3 or ryanodine receptors or reversal of the sarcoplasmic/endoplasmic-reticulum Ca(2+)-ATPase. This mechanism may both regulate the Ca(2+) content of the intracellular stores of unstimulated cells and allow even small intracellular Ca(2+) signals to be amplified by CICR.

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1 February 2002
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Journal articles
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Biochem J
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