Calcium influx mechanisms underlying calcium oscillations in rat hepatocytes

Authors

  • Bertina F. Jones,

    1. Laboratory of Signal Transduction, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences—NIH, Department of Health and Human Services, Research Triangle Park, NC
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  • Rebecca R. Boyles,

    1. Laboratory of Signal Transduction, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences—NIH, Department of Health and Human Services, Research Triangle Park, NC
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  • Sung-Yong Hwang,

    1. Laboratory of Signal Transduction, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences—NIH, Department of Health and Human Services, Research Triangle Park, NC
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  • Gary S. Bird,

    1. Laboratory of Signal Transduction, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences—NIH, Department of Health and Human Services, Research Triangle Park, NC
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  • James W. Putney

    Corresponding author
    1. Laboratory of Signal Transduction, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences—NIH, Department of Health and Human Services, Research Triangle Park, NC
    • National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences—NIH, PO Box 12233, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709
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    • fax: 919-541-1898


  • Potential conflict of interest: Nothing to report.

Abstract

The process of capacitative or store-operated Ca2+ entry has been extensively investigated, and recently two major molecular players in this process have been described. Stromal interacting molecule (STIM) 1 acts as a sensor for the level of Ca2+ stored in the endoplasmic reticulum, and Orai proteins constitute pore-forming subunits of the store-operated channels. Store-operated Ca2+ entry is readily demonstrated with protocols that provide extensive Ca2+ store depletion; however, the role of store-operated entry with modest and more physiological cell stimuli is less certain. Recent studies have addressed this question in cell lines; however, the role of store-operated entry during physiological activation of primary cells has not been extensively investigated, and there is little or no information on the roles of STIM and Orai proteins in primary cells. Also, the nature of the Ca2+ influx mechanism with hormone activation of hepatocytes is controversial. Hepatocytes respond to physiological levels of glycogenolytic hormones with well-characterized intracellular Ca2+ oscillations. In the current study, we have used both pharmacological tools and RNA interference (RNAi)-based techniques to investigate the role of store-operated channels in the maintenance of hormone-induced Ca2+ oscillations in rat hepatocytes. Pharmacological inhibitors of store-operated channels blocked thapsigargin-induced Ca2+ entry but only partially reduced the frequency of Ca2+ oscillations. Similarly, RNAi knockdown of STIM1 or Orai1 substantially reduced thapsigargin-induced calcium entry, and more modestly diminished the frequency of vasopressin-induced oscillations. Conclusion: Our findings establish that store-operated Ca2+ entry plays a role in the maintenance of agonist-induced oscillations in primary rat hepatocytes but indicate that other agonist-induced entry mechanisms must be involved to a significant extent. (HEPATOLOGY 2008.)

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