Calcium imaging of mechanically induced fluxes in tissue-cultured chick heart: role of stretch-activated ion channels.


Heart rate and contractility are sensitive to stretch. To better understand the origin of these effects, we have studied the effect of mechanical stimuli on a model system of tissue-cultured heart cells. Gently prodding cells with a pipette produced a Ca2+ influx that often led to waves of calcium-induced calcium release (CICR) spreading from the site of stimulation. Ca2+ release could also be produced by pulling on neighboring cells. The response was blocked by removing extracellular Ca2+ or by adding 20 microM Gd3+ to normal saline. The mechanical sensitivity probably arose from stretch-activated ion channels (SACs) based on several lines of evidence. Chick heart cells contain nonselective cation SACs that pass Ca2+ as well as Na+ and K+. Both the SACs and the fluorescence response are blocked by 20 microM Gd3+. Removal of Ca2+ from the extracellular medium blocked the fluorescent response. Cultures without SACs (grown in the absence of embryo extract) had no mechanically induced fluxes. These data contradict the recent claim that SAC activity is a patch-clamp artifact (C.E. Morris and R. Horn, Science Wash. DC 256: 1246-1249, 1991). The SACs had a density of approximately 1/micron 2 and were expected to pass less than 20 fA of Ca2+ current under physiological conditions. The change in intracellular concentration of Ca2+ ([Ca2+]i) resulting from activation of SACs may be too small to induce CICR unless the channels pass current into a restricted space (N. LeBlanc and J.R. Hume, Science Wash. DC 248: 372, 1990).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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@article{Sigurdson1992CalciumIO, title={Calcium imaging of mechanically induced fluxes in tissue-cultured chick heart: role of stretch-activated ion channels.}, author={W . J . Sigurdson and Abdul M. Ruknudin and Frederick Sachs}, journal={The American journal of physiology}, year={1992}, volume={262 4 Pt 2}, pages={H1110-5} }