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J Neurophysiol. 2008 May;99(5):2420-30. doi: 10.1152/jn.01251.2007. Epub 2008 Feb 13.

Hyperthermic preconditioning of presynaptic calcium regulation in Drosophila.

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Department of Physiology, University of Toronto, 1 King's College Circle, Ontario, Canada.


We examined the thermosensitivity of calcium regulation in Drosophila larval neuromuscular junctions, testing effects of prior heat shock and Hsp70 expression. Motor neurons were loaded with either the ratiometric indicator Fura-dextran or the nonratiometric indicator Oregon Green bis-(o-aminophenoxy)-N,N,N',N'-tetraacetic acid to monitor parameters of calcium regulation as temperature increased. Nerve terminals treated to a prior heat shock, and those of transgenic flies expressing higher than normal levels of Hsp70, were better able to maintain near-normal resting calcium concentrations, calcium influx, and calcium clearance at higher temperatures. Synaptic transmission was also protected by prior heat shock and by higher than normal Hsp70 expression. Thus the thermal limit of synaptic transmission may be directly linked to the stability of calcium regulation.

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