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Bioelectrochemistry. 2008 Jun;73(1):1-4. doi: 10.1016/j.bioelechem.2008.02.003. Epub 2008 Mar 4.

Nanosecond electric pulse-induced calcium entry into chromaffin cells.

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1
MOSIS, Information Sciences Institute, Viterbi School of Engineering, University of Southern California, Marina del Rey, CA, USA.

Abstract

Electrically excitable bovine adrenal chromaffin cells were exposed to nanosecond duration electric pulses at field intensities ranging from 2 MV/m to 8 MV/m and intracellular calcium levels ([Ca(2+)](i)) monitored in real time by fluorescence imaging of cells loaded with Calcium Green. A single 4 ns, 8 MV/m pulse produced a rapid, short-lived increase in [Ca(2+)](i), with the magnitude of the calcium response depending on the intensity of the electric field. Multiple pulses failed to produce a greater calcium response than a single pulse, and a short refractory period was required between pulses before another maximal increase in [Ca(2+)](i) could be triggered. The pulse-induced rise in [Ca(2+)](i) was not affected by depleting intracellular calcium stores with caffeine or thapsigargin but was completely prevented by the presence of EGTA, Co(2+), or the L-type calcium channel blocker nitrendipine in the extracellular medium. Thus, a single nanosecond pulse is sufficient to elicit a rise in [Ca(2+)](i) that involves entry of calcium via L-type calcium channels.

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