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Biochim Biophys Acta. 1998 Sep 16;1404(3):475-83.

Extracellular Ca2+ regulates the respiratory burst of human neutrophils.

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Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China.


The role of extracellular calcium in the activation of respiratory burst in human neutrophils was studied by using the receptor agonist, N-formyl-methionyl-leucyl-phenylalanine (fMLP), and the activator of protein kinase C phorbol myristate acetate (PMA). The level of intracellular free calcium was measured by using both cell suspensions and single cells in the presence and absence of extracellular calcium. The Ca2+-ATPase inhibitor, thapsigargin, was used to activate higher Ca2+ influx, while a novel calcium channel blocker, panax notoginseng saponins (PNGS) was used to block the Ca2+ entry from extracellular space during the responding period of cells. It was found that about two-thirds of the activation of respiratory burst initiated by the receptor agonist were attributed to the Ca2+ influx under normal physiological conditions. The higher Ca2+ influx resulted in tremendous enhancement of the intensity of respiratory burst initiated by fMLP and marked acceleration of the onset of the respiratory burst stimulated by PMA. It is evident that both intra- and extracellular Ca2+ are required for full activation of the respiratory burst of human neutrophils, and the Ca2+ influx from extracellular space plays an important role either in generation of reactive oxygen metabolites or in activation of protein kinase C.

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