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Sönke Wimmers, Olaf Strauss; Basal Calcium Entry in Retinal Pigment Epithelial Cells Is Mediated by TRPC Channels. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2007;48(12):5767-5772. doi: 10.1167/iovs.07-0412.
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purpose. Ca2+ is a major regulator of cell function. In the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), intracellular free Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i) is essential for the maintenance of normal retinal function. Therefore, accurate control of [Ca2+]i is vital in these cells. Because Ca2+ is permanently extruded from the cytosol, RPE cells need a basal Ca2+ entry pathway that counteracts this Ca2+ efflux. The purpose of this study was to identify the molecular basis of basal Ca2+ entry into the RPE.
methods. [Ca2+]i was measured using Fura-2–loaded ARPE-19 cells. The expression pattern of TRPC channels was investigated by RT-PCR with RNA extracted from ARPE-19 cells and freshly isolated RPE cells from human donor eyes.
results. In most cells, basal [Ca2+]i is highly controlled by cell membranes that are only slightly permeable to Ca2+ and by the activity of Ca2+ pumps and transporters. The authors show here that RPE cells have a basal Ca2+ conductance that is dose dependently blocked by La3+. Basal [Ca2+]i was also strongly reduced by the TRP channel blockers Gd3+, Ni2+, 2-APB, and SKF96365 and was insensitive to blockers of other Ca2+ channels. In confirmation of this pharmacologic profile, RPE cells expressed TRPC1 and TRPC4 channels, as shown by RT-PCR experiments.
conclusions. Ca2+ is needed for several permanently occurring regulatory processes in RPE cells. The Ca2+ influx pathway identified in this study is essential to define a resting basal [Ca2+]i. This resting [Ca2+]i may contribute, for example, to basal cytokine secretion essential for the maintenance of normal retinal function.
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