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Cell Regul. 1991 Nov;2(11):915-25.

Regulation of Ca2+ influx during mitosis: Ca2+ influx and depletion of intracellular Ca2+ stores are coupled in interphase but not mitosis.

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Department of Physiology, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington 06030.


Activation of a wide variety of membrane receptors leads to a sustained elevation of intracellular Ca2+ ([Ca2+]i) that is pivotal to subsequent cell responses. In general, in nonexcitable cells this elevation of [Ca2+]i results from two sources: an initial release of Ca2+ from intracellular stores followed by an influx of extracellular Ca2+. These two phases, release from intracellular stores and Ca2+ influx, are generally coupled: stimulation of influx is coordinated with depletion of Ca2+ from stores, although the mechanism of coupling is unclear. We have previously shown that histamine effects a typical [Ca2+]i response in interphase HeLa cells: a rapid rise in [Ca2+]i followed by a sustained elevation, the latter dependent entirely on extracellular Ca2+. In mitotic cells only the initial elevation, derived by Ca2+ release from intracellular stores, occurs. Thus, in mitotic cells the coupling of stores to influx may be specifically broken. In this report we first provide additional evidence that histamine-stimulated Ca2+ influx is strongly inhibited in mitotic cells. We show that efflux is also strongly stimulated by histamine in interphase cells but not in mitotics. It is possible, thus, that in mitotics intracellular stores are only very briefly depleted of Ca2+, being replenished by reuptake of Ca2+ that is retained within the cell. To ensure the depletion of Ca2+ stores in mitotic cells, we employed the sesquiterpenelactone, thapsigargin, that is known to affect the selective release of Ca2+ from intracellular stores by inhibition of a specific Ca(2+)-ATPase; reuptake is inhibited. In most cells, and in accord with Putney's capacitative model (1990), thapsigargin, presumably by depleting intracellular Ca2+ stores, stimulates Ca2+ influx. This is the case for interphase HeLa cells. Thapsigargin induces an increase in [Ca2+]i that is dependent on extracellular Ca2+ and is associated with a strong stimulation of 45Ca2+ influx. In mitotic cells thapsigargin also induces a [Ca2+]i elevation that is initially comparable in magnitude and largely independent of extracellular Ca2+. However, unlike interphase cells, in mitotic cells the elevation of [Ca2+]i is not sustained and 45Ca2+ influx is not stimulated by thapsigargin. Thus, the coupling between depletion of intracellular stores and Ca2+ influx is specifically broken in mitotic cells. Uncoupling could account for the failure of histamine to stimulate Ca2+ influx during mitosis and would effectively block all stimuli whose effects are mediated by Ca2+ influx and sustained elevations of [Ca2+]i.

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