Plant alkaloids, tetrandrine and hernandezine, inhibit calcium-depletion stimulated calcium entry in human and bovine endothelial cells Journal Articles uri icon

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  • Depletion of internal Ca2+ stores causes capacitative Ca2+ entry which occurs through non-selective cation channels sensitive to blockade by SK&F 96365. Recently, alkaloids of Chinese herbal medicinal origin, tetrandrine and hernandezine, have been shown to possess actions including inhibition of Ca2+ channels in non-excitable cell types. In this study, we compared the actions of these novel inhibitors to those of SK&F 96365 in fura-2-loaded endothelial cells from human umbilical vein and bovine pulmonary artery. Depletion of Ca2+ from the internal stores was accomplished in Ca(2+)-free medium using an endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ pump inhibitor, cyclopiazonic acid (CPA) or receptor agonists, histamine and bradykinin. Stimulation with histamine or bradykinin caused a marked and rapid transient increase in Ca2+ signal whereas CPA caused a smaller amplitude increase of longer duration. Restoring Ca2+ to the medium caused marked and sustained increases in the fluorescence indicating movement of Ca2+ into the cytosol presumably stimulated by the emptied Ca2+ stores. SK&F 96365 as well as tetrandrine and hernandezine antagonized depletion-induced Ca2+ entry. The results suggest that these putative inhibitors interact with Ca2+ entry triggered by depletion of the internal Ca2+ stores and their action is presumed to be on the non-selective cation channels. Their effectiveness may be enhanced by the mechanisms which lead to the opening of the Ca2+ influx channel.


  • Low, AM
  • Berdik, M
  • Sormaz, L
  • Gataiance, S
  • Buchanan, MR
  • Kwan, Chiu-yin
  • Daniel, EE

publication date

  • May 1996