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Biochem Pharmacol. 2001 Oct 1;62(7):863-72.

Effect of tributyltin chloride on the release of calcium ion from intracellular calcium stores in rat hepatocytes.

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  • 1Division of Biological Chemistry & Biologicals, National Institute of Health Sciences, 1-18-1 Kamiyoga, Setagaya-ku, 158-8501, Tokyo, Japan.


The effects of tri-n-butyltin chloride (TBT), an environmental pollutant, on the release of Ca(2+) from intracellular stores were investigated in isolated rat hepatocytes. Isolated hepatocytes permeabilized with digitonin were suspended in solution, and the concentration of extracellular Ca(2+) was measured, using a fluorescent Ca(2+) dye, fura-2. In the solution containing permeabilized hepatocytes that had been preincubated with 4.0 microM TBT for 30 min, the extracellular Ca(2+) concentration was high, but the inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (InsP(3))-induced increase in Ca(2+) concentration was suppressed, suggesting that the extracellular release of Ca(2+) in response to TBT treatment was from intracellular stores. Images of the Ca(2+) concentration in the intracellular stores of primary cultured hepatocytes loaded with fura-2 were obtained after digitonin-permeabilization, using digitalized fluorescence microscopy. The permeabilized hepatocytes that had been preincubated with 4.0 microM TBT for 30 min had a very low fura-2 fluorescence ratio (340/380 nm), suggesting that stored Ca(2+) was released. When the hepatocytes were treated with 4.0 microM TBT after digitonin-permeabilization, the decrease in the fura-2 fluorescence ratio was very small. However, when the permeabilized hepatocytes were incubated with 4.0 microM TBT and 2.0 microM NADPH, the decrease was enhanced, raising the possibility that TBT might be metabolized to the active form(s), thus releasing Ca(2+) from intracellular stores. When the hepatocytes were preincubated with 0.1 microM TBT for 30 min and then were permeabilized, the fura-2 fluorescence ratio was almost the same as that in the control permeabilized hepatocytes. However, the InsP(3)-induced decrease in the fluorescence ratio was suppressed significantly in the permeabilized hepatocytes. These results suggest that TBT released Ca(2+) from the intracellular stores at high concentrations, and suppressed the InsP(3)-induced Ca(2+) release at non-toxic low concentrations. It is probable that the latter effect was responsible for the previously reported suppression of Ca(2+) response induced by hormonal stimulations (Kawanish et al., Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 1999;155:54-61).

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