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Cell Calcium. 2004 Jul;36(1):29-41.

The sarcoplasmic reticulum and sarcolemma together form a passive Ca2+ trap in colonic smooth muscle.

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1
Neuroscience and Biomedical Systems, Institute of Biomedical and Life Sciences, West Medical Building, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, G12 8QQ, UK.

Abstract

In smooth muscle, active Ca(2+) uptake into regions of sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) which are closely apposed to the sarcolemma has been proposed to substantially limit the increase in the cytoplasmic Ca(2+) concentration ([Ca(2+)](c)) following Ca(2+) influx, i.e. the 'superficial buffer barrier hypothesis'. The present study has re-examined this proposal. The results suggest that the SR close to the sarcolemma acts as a passive barrier to Ca(2+) influx limiting [Ca(2+)](c) changes; for this, SR Ca(2+) pump activity is not required. In single voltage-clamped colonic myocytes, sustained opening of the ryanodine receptor (RyR) (and depletion of the SR) using ryanodine increased the amplitude of depolarisation-evoked Ca(2+) transients and accelerated the rate of [Ca(2+)](c) decline following depolarisation. These results could be explained by a reduction in the Ca(2+) buffer power of the cytosol taking place when RyR are opened (i.e. the SR is 'leaky'). Indeed, determination of the Ca(2+) buffer power confirmed it was reduced by approximately 40%. Inhibition of the SR Ca(2+) pump (with thapsigargin) also depleted the SR of Ca(2+) but did not reduce the Ca(2+) buffer power or increase depolarisation-evoked Ca(2+) transients and slowed (rather than accelerated) Ca(2+) removal. However, thapsigargin prevented the ryanodine-induced increase in [Ca(2+)](c) decline following depolarisation. Together, these results suggest that when the SR was rendered 'leaky' (a) more of the Ca(2+) entering the cell reached the bulk cytoplasm and (b) Ca(2+) was removed more quickly at the end of cell activation. Under physiological circumstances in the absence of blocking drugs, it is proposed that the SR limits the [Ca(2+)](c) increase following influx without the need for active Ca(2+) uptake. The SR and sarcolemma may form a passive physical barrier to Ca(2+) influx, a Ca(2+) trap, which limits the [Ca(2+)](c) rise occurring during depolarisation by about 50% and from which the ion only slowly escapes into the main part of the cytoplasm.

PMID:
15126054
DOI:
10.1016/j.ceca.2003.11.008
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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