An inhibitory effect of extracellular Ca 2+ on Ca 2+-dependent exocytosis

Wei Xiong, Tao Liu, Yeshi Wang, Xiaowei Chen, Lei Sun, Ning Guo, Hui Zheng, Lianghong Zheng, Martial Ruat, Weiping Han, Claire Xi Zhang, Zhuan Zhou

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6 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: Neurotransmitter release is elicited by an elevation of intracellular Ca 2+ concentration ([Ca 2+] i). The action potential triggers Ca 2+ influx through Ca 2+ channels which causes local changes of [Ca 2+] i for vesicle release. However, any direct role of extracellular Ca 2+ (besides Ca 2+ influx) on Ca 2+-dependent exocytosis remains elusive. Here we set out to investigate this possibility on rat dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons and chromaffin cells, widely used models for studying vesicle exocytosis. Results: Using photolysis of caged Ca 2+ and caffeine-induced release of stored Ca 2+, we found that extracellular Ca 2+ inhibited exocytosis following moderate [Ca 2+] i rises (2-3 μM). The IC 50 for extracellular Ca 2+ inhibition of exocytosis (ECIE) was 1.38 mM and a physiological reduction (~30%) of extracellular Ca 2+ concentration ([Ca 2+] o) significantly increased the evoked exocytosis. At the single vesicle level, quantal size and release frequency were also altered by physiological [Ca 2+] o. The calcimimetics Mg 2+, Cd 2+, G418, and neomycin all inhibited exocytosis. The extracellular Ca 2+-sensing receptor (CaSR) was not involved because specific drugs and knockdown of CaSR in DRG neurons did not affect ECIE. Conclusion/Significance: As an extension of the classic Ca 2+ hypothesis of synaptic release, physiological levels of extracellular Ca 2+ play dual roles in evoked exocytosis by providing a source of Ca 2+ influx, and by directly regulating quantal size and release probability in neuronal cells.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere24573
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 18 Oct 2011
Externally publishedYes

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