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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2000 Feb 16;268(2):636-41.

C2-Ceramide increases cytoplasmic calcium concentrations in human parathyroid cells.

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Department of Surgery, Bristol Royal Infirmary, Bristol, BS2 8HW, United Kingdom.


Effects of extracellular calcium ([Ca(2+)](ext)) on parathyroid cells are mainly due to the activation of a plasma membrane calcium receptor (CaR) coupled with release of intracellular calcium. In addition, high [Ca(2+)](ext) activates the sphingomyelin pathway in bovine parathyroid cells, generating ceramides and sphingosine. This study explored the direct effects of synthetic ceramides on [Ca(2+)](i) in human parathyroid cells. Cells from five parathyroid adenomas removed from patients with primary hyperparathyroidism were dispersed and maintained in primary culture. Intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca(2+)](i)) [Ca(2+)](i) was monitored using standard quantitative fluorescence microscopy in Fura-2/AM-loaded cells. Laser scanning microscopy was used to monitor the intracellular distribution of a fluorescent ceramide analogue (BODIPY-C5). After addition of 10 microM C2-ceramide (N-acetyl-d-erythro-sphingosine), [Ca(2+)](i) increased rapidly (30-60 s) to a peak three times above basal levels in 70% of cells (37/55 cells in four experiments). This effect appeared to be due to release of Ca(2+) from intracellular stores rather than Ca(2+) entry from the extracellular medium. C2-responsive cells had a smaller [Ca(2+)](i) response to subsequent stimulation with the CaR agonist-neomycin (1 mM). These responses were specific to C2 since C6-ceramide (N-hexanoyl-d-erythro-sphingosine) did not affect basal [Ca(2+)](i) nor the responses to an increase in [Ca(2+)](ext) and to neomycin. C5-BODIPY generated intense perinuclear fluorescence, suggesting targeting of the ceramides to the Golgi apparatus. These data demonstrate that endogenous generation of ceramides has the potential to modulate changes in [Ca(2+)](i) and secretion in response to [Ca(2+)](ext) in human parathyroid cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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