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J Physiol. 2003 Mar 1;547(Pt 2):453-62. Epub 2003 Jan 24.

Metabolic regulation of Ca2+ release in permeabilized mammalian skeletal muscle fibres.

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Department of Pharmacology and Physiology, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, New Jersey Medical School, 185 South Orange Avenue, Newark, NJ 07103, USA.


In the present study, the link between cellular metabolism and Ca2+ signalling was investigated in permeabilized mammalian skeletal muscle. Spontaneous events of Ca2+ release from the sarcoplasmic reticulum were detected with fluo-3 and confocal scanning microscopy. Mitochondrial functions were monitored by measuring local changes in mitochondrial membrane potential (with the potential-sensitive dye tetramethylrhodamine ethyl ester) and in mitochondrial [Ca2+] (with the Ca2+ indicator mag-rhod-2). Digital fluorescence imaging microscopy was used to quantify changes in the mitochondrial autofluorescence of NAD(P)H. When fibres were immersed in a solution without mitochondrial substrates, Ca2+ release events were readily observed. The addition of L-glutamate or pyruvate reversibly decreased the frequency of Ca2+ release events and increased mitochondrial membrane potential and NAD(P)H production. Application of various mitochondrial inhibitors led to the loss of mitochondrial [Ca2+] and promoted spontaneous Ca2+ release from the sarcoplasmic reticulum. In many cases, the increase in the frequency of Ca2+ release events was not accompanied by a rise in global [Ca2+]i. Our results suggest that mitochondria exert a negative control over Ca2+ signalling in skeletal muscle by buffering Ca2+ near Ca2+ release channels.

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