Thapsigargin decreases the Na+- Ca2+ exchanger mediated Ca2+ entry in pig coronary artery smooth muscle
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Na(+)- Ca(2+) exchanger (NCX) has been proposed to play a role in refilling the sarco/endoplasmic reticulum (SER) Ca(2+) pool along with the SER Ca(2+) pump (SERCA). Here, SERCA inhibitor thapsigargin was used to determine the effects of SER Ca(2+) depletion on NCX-SERCA interactions in smooth muscle cells cultured from pig coronary artery. The cells were Na(+)-loaded and then placed in either a Na(+)-containing or in a Na(+)-substituted solution. Subsequently, the difference in Ca(2+) entry between the two groups was examined and defined as the NCX mediated Ca(2+) entry. The NCX mediated Ca(2+) entry in the smooth muscle cells was monitored using two methods: Ca(2+)sensitive fluorescence dye Fluo-4 and radioactive Ca(2+). Ca(2+)-entry was greater in the Na(+)-substituted cells than in the Na(+)-containing cells when measured by either method. This difference was established to be NCX-mediated as it was sensitive to the NCX inhibitors. Thapsigargin diminished the NCX mediated Ca(2+) entry as determined by either method. Immunofluorescence confocal microscopy was used to determine the co-localization of NCX1 and subsarcolemmal SERCA2 in the cells incubated in the Na(+)-substituted solution with or without thapsigargin. SER Ca(2+) depletion with thapsigargin increased the co-localization between NCX1 and the subsarcolemmal SERCA2. Thus, inhibition of SERCA2 leads to blockade of constant Ca(2+) entry through NCX1 and also increases proximity between NCX1 and SERCA2. This blockade of Ca(2+) entry may protect the cells against Ca(2+)-overload during ischemia-reperfusion when SERCA2 is known to be damaged.
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