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PLoS One. 2014 Jun 6;9(6):e98777. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0098777. eCollection 2014.

Calcium sensing receptor modulates extracellular calcium entry and proliferation via TRPC3/6 channels in cultured human mesangial cells.

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  • 1Department of Nephrology, The Second Affiliated Hospital, Harbin Medical University, Harbin, China.
  • 2Department of Nephrology, The Fourth Affiliated Hospital, Harbin Medical University, Harbin, China.
  • 3Department of Nephrology, The Second Affiliated Hospital, Harbin Medical University, Harbin, China; Institute of Nephrology, Harbin Medical University, Harbin, China.


Calcium-sensing receptor (CaSR) has been demonstrated to be present in several tissues and cells unrelated to systemic calcium homeostasis, where it regulates a series of diverse cellular functions. A previous study indicated that CaSR is expressed in mouse glomerular mesangial cells (MCs), and stimulation of CaSR induces cell proliferation. However, the signaling cascades initiated by CaSR activation in MCs are currently unknown. In this study, our data demonstrate that CaSR mRNA and protein are expressed in a human mesangial cell line. Activating CaSR with high extracellular Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]o) or spermine induces a phospholipase C (PLC)-dependent increase in intracellular Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i). Interestingly, the CaSR activation-induced increase in [Ca2+]i results not only from intracellular Ca2+ release from internal stores but also from canonical transient receptor potential (TRPC)-dependent Ca2+ influx. This increase in Ca2+ was attenuated by treatment with a nonselective TRPC channel blocker but not by treatment with a voltage-gated calcium blocker or Na+/Ca2+ exchanger inhibitor. Furthermore, stimulation of CaSR by high [Ca2+]o enhanced the expression of TRPC3 and TRPC6 but not TRPC1 and TRPC4, and siRNA targeting TRPC3 and TRPC6 attenuated the CaSR activation-induced [Ca2+]i increase. Further experiments indicate that 1-oleoyl-2-acetyl-sn-glycerol (OAG), a known activator of receptor-operated calcium channels, significantly enhances the CaSR activation-induced [Ca2+]i increase. Moreover, under conditions in which intracellular stores were already depleted with thapsigargin (TG), CaSR agonists also induced an increase in [Ca2+]i, suggesting that calcium influx stimulated by CaSR agonists does not require the release of calcium stores. Finally, our data indicate that pharmacological inhibition and knock down of TRPC3 and TRPC6 attenuates the CaSR activation-induced cell proliferation in human MCs. With these data, we conclude that CaSR activation mediates Ca2+ influx and cell proliferation via TRPC3 and TRPC6 in human MCs.

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