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Biophys J. 2009 Jun 3;96(11):4651-60. doi: 10.1016/j.bpj.2009.02.058.

Axial tubules of rat ventricular myocytes form multiple junctions with the sarcoplasmic reticulum.

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1
Department of Cellular and Physiological Sciences, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Abstract

Ryanodine receptors (RyRs) are located primarily on the junctional sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR), adjacent to the transverse tubules and on the cell surface near the Z-lines, but some RyRs are on junctional SR adjacent to axial tubules. Neither the size of the axial junctions nor the numbers of RyRs that they contain have been determined. RyRs may also be located on the corbular SR and on the free or network SR. Because determining and quantifying the distribution of RyRs is critical for both understanding and modeling calcium dynamics, we investigated the distribution of RyRs in healthy adult rat ventricular myocytes, using electron microscopy, electron tomography, and immunofluorescence. We found RyRs in only three regions: in couplons on the surface and on transverse tubules, both of which are near the Z-line, and in junctions on most of the axial tubules--axial junctions. The axial junctions averaged 510 nm in length, but they occasionally spanned an entire sarcomere. Numerical analysis showed that they contain as much as 19% of a cell's RyRs. Tomographic analysis confirmed the axial junction's architecture, which is indistinguishable from junctions on transverse tubules or on the surface, and revealed a complexly structured tubule whose lumen was only 26 nm at its narrowest point. RyRs on axial junctions colocalize with Ca(v)1.2, suggesting that they play a role in excitation-contraction coupling.

PMID:
19486687
PMCID:
PMC2711526
DOI:
10.1016/j.bpj.2009.02.058
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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