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J Biol Chem. 1992 Apr 25;267(12):8230-3.

Actions of vasopressin and the Ca(2+)-ATPase inhibitor, thapsigargin, on Ca2+ signaling in hepatocytes.

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  • 1Calcium Regulation Section, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27709.


When hepatocytes were loaded with fura-2 by incubation with the acetoxymethyl ester (fura-2/AM), addition of Mn2+ resulted in a rapid quench of a fraction of cellular fura-2 fluorescence. Addition of vasopressin caused a second, rapid quench of cellular fura-2, whereas the addition of thapsigargin had no effect. When hepatocytes were loaded by microinjection of fura-2 acid, addition of Mn2+ caused a slower, sustained rate of quench, and both vasopressin and thapsigargin increased this rate of quench. When Mn2+ was removed from the medium of fura-2/AM-loaded cells after preincubation with Mn2+, vasopressin still caused quench of cellular fura-2. In contrast, neither vasopressin nor thapsigargin increased fura-2 quench when Mn2+ was removed from fura-2-injected cells. When fura-2/AM-loaded cells were permeabilized with saponin, only a fraction of the cell-associated fura-2 was quenched by addition of Mn2+. A second fraction was then quenched by addition of inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate. These results indicate that in hepatocytes loaded with the acetoxymethyl ester of fura-2, the increased quench of cellular fura-2 seen with phospholipase C-linked agonists is not due to effects of the agonist on Mn2+ entry across the plasma membrane, but rather is due to agonist activation of Mn2+ penetration into an intracellular organelle, presumably through inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate-regulated channels. Thus, it appears that compartmentalization of fura-2 accounts for previously reported anomalies in Ca2+ signaling in hepatocytes, such as the apparent failure of Ca(2+)-ATPase inhibition to increase divalent cation entry, as well as the apparent ability of phospholipase C-linked agonists to stimulate efflux of Ca2+.

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