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Lomax RB, Cobbold PH, Allshire AP, Cuthbertson KS, Robertson WR;
Molecular Endocrinology
Tri-iodothyronine increases intra-cellular calcium levels in single rat myocytes.
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We have studied the effects of acute administration of triiodothyronine (T3) on cytosolic free calcium levels [Ca2+]i in single rat myocytes microinjected with aequorin. Ventricular myocytes were isolated by perfusing rat hearts with collagenase, and healthy, rod-shaped cells were injected to less than 1% of their volume with aequorin. The photons emitted from single cells were measured and a conversion to [Ca2+]i made on the basis of an in vitro calibration after the remaining aequorin had been discharged by cell lysis. Only cells that depolarized reversibly (showing elevated [Ca2+]i levels) when superfused with 80 mM KCl, and which gave a substantial signal on lysis with distilled water were used. The [Ca2+]i rose from a resting value of 150 +/- 56 nM (mean +/- SD, n = 14) by 127 +/- 47 nM on depolarization with 80 mM KCl. Application of T3 (1-100 nM) led to an increase (P less than 0.05) in [Ca2+]i (mean amplitude of 152 +/- 35 nM) before returning to baseline. The median duration of these events was 10 min (range = 1.4-34.4 min). The time to response was shorter when 100 nM T3 was applied (median and range; 6.8, 0-14 min) than when 1 nM T3 was used (16, 7.0-56.1 min) (P less than 0.05). To conclude, physiological concentrations of thyroid hormones caused rapid but transient stimulation of [Ca2+]i in single rat myocytes.
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