Send to

Choose Destination
Biotechniques. 1999 Feb;26(2):318-22, 324-6.

Rapid measurements of intracellular calcium using a fluorescence plate reader.

Author information

University of California, San Francisco, USA.


Intracellular calcium is a universal second messenger that can serve as a broad-based measure of receptor activity. Recent developments in multi-well plate fluorescence readers facilitate measurement of intracellular free-calcium levels and reduce reliance on slower, more cumbersome or expensive data collection methods. In this report, we describe a rapid and sensitive method to assay intracellular calcium ions in human embryonic kidney (HEK293) and Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells from multi-well plates using a fluorometer equipped with on-line injectors. We examine the compatibility of visible-light excitable dyes Calcium Green-1 and Oregon Green 488 BAPTA-1. Using this assay, we were able to detect and quantify activity from muscarinic and beta-adrenergic receptors endogenous to HEK293 cells and detect calcium signals generated by activation of Gi-coupled recombinant mu-opioid and dopamine D2L receptors, and the Gs-coupled melanocortin subtype 4 (MC4) receptor. Fluorescence signals, stable in HEK293 cells, required the use of Oregon Green 488 BAPTA-1 and an inhibitor of organic anion transport in CHO cells. Under appropriate conditions, both cell types can be used to collect complete concentration-response data for a variety of receptors (including a recombinant muscarinic M1 receptor expressed in CHO cells) from a single plate of dye-loaded cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon
Loading ...
Support Center