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Title: Nucleoplasmic calcium regulation in rabbit aortic vascular smooth muscle cells
Authors: Abrenica, B
Pierce, GN
Gilchrist, JSC
C-14 YR BP
Issue Date: 30-Sep-2003
Citation: CAN J EARTH SCI, SEP 2003, vol. 40, no. 9, p.1259 to 1278.
Abstract: In this study, we investigated whether nucleoplasmic free Ca2+ in aortic vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) might be independently regulated from cytosolic free Ca2+. Understanding mechanisms and pathways responsible for this regulation is especially relevant given the role of a numerous intranuclear Ca2+-sensitive proteins in transcriptional regulation, apoptosis and cell division. The question of an independent regulatory mechanism remains largely unsettled because the previous use of intensitometric fluorophores (e.g., Fluo-3) has been criticized on technical grounds. To circumvent the potential problem of fluorescence artifact, we utilized confocal laser scanning microscopy to image intracellular Ca2+ movements with the ratiometric fluorophore Indo-1. In cultured rabbit VSMCs, we found sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) Ca2+ ATPase (SERCA) pumps and ryanodine receptor (RyR) Ca2+ channel proteins to be discretely arranged within a perinuclear locus, as determined by fluorescent staining patterns of BODIPY(R) FL thapsigargin and BODIPY(R) FL-X Ry. When intracellular Ca2+ stores were mobilized by addition of thapsigargin (5 muM) and activatory concentrations of ryanodine (1 muM), Indo-1 ratiometric signals were largely restricted to the nucleoplasm. Cytosolic signals, by comparison, were relatively small and even then its spatial distribution was largely perinuclear rather homogeneous. These observations indicate perinuclear RyR and SERCA proteins are intimately involved in regulating VSMC nucleoplasmic Ca2+ concentrations. We also observed a similar pattern of largely nucleoplasmic Ca2+ mobilization upon exposure of cells to the immunosuppressant drug FK506 (tacrolimus), which binds to the RyR-associated immunophillin-binding proteins FKBP12 and FKBP12.6. However, initial FK506-induced nucleoplasmic Ca2+ mobilization was followed by marked reduction of Indo-1 signal intensity close to pretreatment levels. This suggested FK506 exerts both activatory and inhibitory effects upon RyR channels. The latter was reinforced by observed effects of FK506 to only reduce nucleoplasmic Indo-1 signal intensity when added following pretreatment with both activatory and inhibitory concentrations of ryanodine. These latter observations raise the possibility that VSMC nuclei represent an important sink of intracellular Ca2+ and may help explain vasodilatory actions of FK506 observed by others.
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