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Kidney Int. 1998 Oct;54(4):1206-13.

Mechanisms through which high glucose concentration raises [Ca2+]i in renal proximal tubular cells.

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Department of Medicine, University of Southern California School of Medicine, Los Angeles, USA.



The basal levels of cytosolic calcium ([Ca2+]i) of renal proximal tubular cells of rats with streptozotocin-induced diabetes are elevated. It is possible that this phenomenon is mediated by the hyperglycemia, which may cause both increased calcium influx into and/or decreased calcium efflux out of these cells.


We examined whether high glucose concentration in vitro causes acute rise in [Ca2+]i of freshly isolated renal proximal tubular cells and explored the pathways that are involved in such an event.


There were dose and time dependent increments in [Ca2+]i of renal proximal tubular cells exposed to high concentrations of glucose. A similar effect was observed with equimolar concentrations of mannitol or choline chloride but not urea. A substantial part of the rise in [Ca2+]i was inhibited when the media contained verapamil, nifedipine, amlodipine or ryanodine and when the cells were placed in a calcium free media. Inhibitors of G protein(s) (GDPbetaS or pertussis toxin), inhibitors of cAMP-protein kinase A pathway (RpcAMP or H-89), inhibitors of protein kinase C (staurosporine or calphostin) and inhibitor of Na+-H+ exchanger (HOE 694) blocked the rise in a dose dependent manner. High glucose concentration also caused a decrease in ATP content of these cells and a reduction in the Vmax of their Ca2+ATPase.


The results are consistent with the formulation that the osmotic activity (cell shrinkage) of the high glucose concentration may activate a stretch receptor with subsequent stimulation of various cellular pathways including G protein(s), cAMP-protein kinase A and phospholipase C systems and calcium channels. Activation of these cellular pathways permits both calcium influx into renal tubular cells and mobilization of calcium from their intracellular stores. Further, a decrease in calcium efflux secondary to the reduction in the Vmax of Ca2+ ATPase may occur. It is possible that the rise in [Ca2+]i is critical for the stimulation of the events that lead to restoration of cell volume to normal.

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