Temporal and spatial properties of cellular Ca2+ flux in trout ventricular myocytes

Holly A. Shiels, Ed White

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    Confocal microscopy was used to investigate the temporal and spatial properties of Ca2+ transients and Ca2+ sparks in ventricular myocytes of the rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Confocal imaging confirmed the absence of T tubules and the long (∼160 μm), thin (∼8 μm) morphology of trout myocytes. Line scan imaging of Ca 2+ transients evoked by electrical stimulation in cells loaded with fluo 4 revealed spatial inhomogeneities in the temporal properties of Ca 2+ transients across the width of the myocytes. The Ca2+ wavefront initiated faster, rose faster, and reached larger peak amplitudes in the periphery of the myocyte compared with the center. These differences were exacerbated by stimulation with the L-type Ca2+ channel agonist (-)BAY K 8644 or by sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) inhibition with ryanodine and thapsigargin. Results reveal that the shape of the trout myocyte allows for rapid diffusion of Ca2+ from the cell periphery to the cell center, with SR Ca2+ release contributing to the cytosolic Ca2+ rise in a time-dependent manner. Spontaneous Ca2+ sparks were exceedingly rare in trout myocytes under control conditions (1 sparking cell from 238 cells examined). This is in marked contrast to the rat where a total of 56 spontaneous Ca2+ sparks were observed in 9 of 11 myocytes examined. Ca2+ sparklike events were observed in a very small number of trout myocytes (15 sparks from 9 of 378 cells examined) after stimulation with either (-)BAY K 8644 or high Ca2+ (6 mM). Reducing temperature to 15°C in intact myocytes or permeabilizing myocytes to adjust intracellular conditions to favor Ca2+ spark detection was without significant effects. Possible reasons for the rarity of Ca2+ sparks in a cardiac myocyte with an active SR are discussed. Copyright © 2005 the American Physiological Society.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)R1756-R1766
    JournalAJP: Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2005


    • Calcium inhomogeneities
    • Calcium sparks
    • Calcium transients
    • Ryanodine receptor isoform
    • Sarcoplasmic reticulum


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