• ATPase;
  • calcium;
  • endoplasmic reticulum;
  • sarco-endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ ATPase;
  • thapsigargin


Ca2+ uptake into the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is mediated by Ca2+ ATPase isoforms, which are all selectively inhibited by nanomolar concentrations of thapsigargin. Using ATP/Mg2+-dependent 45Ca2+ transport in rat brain microsomes, tissue sections, and permeabilized cells, as well as Ca2+ imaging in living cells we distinguish two ER Ca2+ pools in the rat CNS. Nanomolar levels of thapsigargin blocked one component of brain microsomal 45Ca2+ transport, which we designate as the thapsigargin-sensitive pool (TG-S). The remaining component was only inhibited by micromolar thapsigargin, and thus designated as thapsigargin resistant (TG-R). Ca2+ ATPase and [32P]phosphoenzyme assays also distinguished activities with differential sensitivities to thapsigargin. The TG-R Ca2+ uptake displayed unique anion permeabilities, was inhibited by vanadate, but was unaffected by sulfhydryl reduction. Ca2+ sequestered into the TG-R pool could not be released by inositol-1,4,5-trisphosphate, caffeine, or cyclic ADP-ribose. The TG-R Ca2+ pool had a unique anatomical distribution in the brain, with selective enrichment in brainstem and spinal cord structures. Cell lines that expressed high levels of the TG-R pool required micromolar concentrations of thapsigargin to effectively raise cytoplasmic Ca2+ levels. TG-R Ca2+ accumulation represents a distinct Ca2+ buffering pool in specific CNS regions with unique pharmacological sensitivities and anatomical distributions.