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Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2008 Feb;294(2):G467-76. Epub 2007 Nov 29.

Role of mitochondria in spontaneous rhythmic activity and intracellular calcium waves in the guinea pig gallbladder smooth muscle.

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  • 1Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, University of Vermont College of Medicine, 89 Beaumont Ave., D406 Given Bldg., Burlington, VT 05405, USA.


Mitochondrial Ca(2+) handling has been implicated in spontaneous rhythmic activity in smooth muscle and interstitial cells of Cajal. In this investigation we evaluated the effect of mitochondrial inhibitors on spontaneous action potentials (APs), Ca(2+) flashes, and Ca(2+) waves in gallbladder smooth muscle (GBSM). Disruption of the mitochondrial membrane potential with carbonyl cyanide 3-chlorophenylhydrazone, carbonyl cyanide 4-(trifluoromethoxy) phenylhydrazone, rotenone, and antimycin A significantly reduced or eliminated APs, Ca(2+) flashes, and Ca(2+) waves in GBSM. Blockade of ATP production with oligomycin did not alter APs or Ca(2+) flashes but significantly reduced Ca(2+) wave frequency. Inhibition of mitochondrial Ca(2+) uptake and Ca(2+) release with Ru360 and CGP-37157, respectively, reduced the frequency of Ca(2+) flashes and Ca(2+) waves in GBSM. Similar to oligomycin, cyclosporin A did not alter AP and Ca(2+) flash frequency but significantly reduced Ca(2+) wave activity. These data suggest that mitochondrial Ca(2+) handling is necessary for the generation of spontaneous electrical activity and may therefore play an important role in gallbladder tone and motility.

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