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EMBO J. 1999 Jun 15;18(12):3222-31.

The mechanism mediating regenerative intercellular Ca2+ waves in the blowfly salivary gland.

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Institut für Zoophysiologie und Zellbiologie, Universität Potsdam, D-14471 Potsdam, Germany.


Intercellular Ca2+ signaling in intact salivary glands of the blowfly Calliphora erythrocephala was studied by fluorimetric digital imaging combined with microinjection of putative messenger molecules. Iontophoretic injection of D-myo-inositol 1,4, 5-trisphosphate (InsP3) into salivary gland cells evoked regenerative intercellular Ca2+ waves that spread through the impaled cell and several rows of surrounding cells. Ca2+ increases induced by microinjection of Ca2+ ions were confined to the injected cells and their nearest neighbors. Depletion of intracellular Ca2+ stores by thapsigargin pre-treatment did not alter the time course of the Ca2+ increase caused by Ca2+ injection. However, activation of Ca2+ release became clearly evident when Ca2+ was injected in the presence of serotonin (5-HT). Under these conditions, injection of Ca2+ triggered intercellular Ca2+ waves that consecutively passed through >10 cells. The phospholipase C inhibitor U73122 blocked 5-HT-induced Ca2+ increases but did not affect InsP3-dependent Ca2+ spiking and intercellular Ca2+ wave propagation. The results demonstrate that propagation of agonist-evoked Ca2+ waves in the blowfly salivary gland requires supra-basal [InsP3] but does not depend on feedback activation of phospholipase C. We conclude that the intra- and intercellular transmission of these Ca2+ waves is mediated by diffusion of Ca2+ and Ca2+-induced Ca2+ release via the InsP3 receptor channel.

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