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J Biol Chem. 2004 May 28;279(22):22964-72. Epub 2004 Mar 16.

Stimulation of capacitative calcium entry in HL-60 cells by nanosecond pulsed electric fields.

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Biomedical Sciences Program, Old Dominion University and Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk, Virginia, USA.


Nanosecond pulsed electric fields (nsPEFs) are hypothesized to affect intracellular structures in living cells providing a new means to modulate cell signal transduction mechanisms. The effects of nsPEFs on the release of internal calcium and activation of calcium influx in HL-60 cells were investigated by using real time fluorescent microscopy with Fluo-3 and fluorometry with Fura-2. nsPEFs induced an increase in intracellular calcium levels that was seen in all cells. With pulses of 60 ns duration and electric fields between 4 and 15 kV/cm, intracellular calcium increased 200-700 nM, respectively, above basal levels (approximately 100 nM), while the uptake of propidium iodide was absent. This suggests that increases in intracellular calcium were not because of plasma membrane electroporation. nsPEF and the purinergic agonist UTP induced calcium mobilization in the presence and absence of extracellular calcium with similar kinetics and appeared to target the same inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate- and thapsigargin-sensitive calcium pools in the endoplasmic reticulum. For cells exposed to either nsPEF or UTP in the absence of extracellular calcium, there was an electric field-dependent or UTP dose-dependent increase in capacitative calcium entry when calcium was added to the extracellular media. These findings suggest that nsPEFs, like ligand-mediated responses, release calcium from similar internal calcium pools and thus activate plasma membrane calcium influx channels or capacitative calcium entry.

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