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Am J Physiol. 1996 Aug;271(2 Pt 2):F292-303.

Calcium dependence of integrity of the actin cytoskeleton of proximal tubule cell microvilli.

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Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA.


To better define the role of Ca2+ in pathophysiological alterations of the proximal tubule microvillus actin cytoskeleton, we studied freshly isolated tubules in which intracellular free Ca2+ was equilibrated with highly buffered, precisely defined medium Ca2+ levels using a combination of the metabolic inhibitor, antimycin, and the ionophore, ionomycin, in the presence of glycine, to prevent lethal membrane damage and resulting nonspecific changes. Increases of Ca2+ to > or = 10 microM were sufficient to initiate concurrent actin depolymerization, fragmentation of F-actin into forms requiring high-speed centrifugation for recovery, redistribution of villin to sedimentable fractions, and structural microvillar damage consisting of severe swelling and fragmentation of actin cores. These observations implicate Ca(2+)-dependent, villin-mediated actin cytoskeletal disruption in tubule cell microvillar damage under conditions conceivably present during pathophysiological states. However, despite prior evidence for cytosolic free Ca2+ increases of the same order of magnitude and similar structural microvillar alterations, Ca(2+)- and villin-mediated events did not appear to account for the initial microvillar damage that occurs during ATP depletion induced by antimycin alone or hypoxia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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