Agonist-induced cytosolic calcium oscillations originate from a specific locus in single hepatocytes

T. A. Rooney, E. J. Sass, A. P. Thomas

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180 Scopus citations


Digital imaging fluorescence microscopy of fura-2-loaded hepatocytes in primary culture has been used to examine the changes of cytosolic free Ca2+ ([Ca2+](i)) in response to receptor activation by α1-adrenergic agonists and vasopressin at the subcellular level. Agonist-induced Ca2+ oscillations did not occur synchronously within the cell but originated from a specific region adjacent to the cell membrane and then propagated throughout the rest of the cell, with each oscillation within a series originating from the same locus. Furthermore, hormones acting through different receptors produced Ca2+ waves with similar rates of progress (20-25 μm·s-1) which originated from the same subcellular locus. For a given cell, the rate of progress and amplitude of the Ca2+ waves were independent of applied agonist concentration and were unaffected by depletion of extracellular Ca2+. The kinetics of Ca2+ increase at different points within the cell indicated that the Ca2+ waves were not driven by diffusion but were characteristic of a self-propagating mechanism. Significantly, when cells were treated with AIF4- to directly activate the G-protein which couples receptor occupancy to [Ca2+](i) mobilization, the origin and kinetics of the Ca2+ waves were identical to those observed with hormonal stimulation. It is proposed that the spatial organization of the intracellular Ca2+ release mechanisms may have significance in the regulation of the asymmetric metabolic functions of hepatocytes and other functionally polarized cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10792-10796
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number18
StatePublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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