Pulsed laser imaging of rapid Ca2+ gradients in excitable cells

Monck, J. R. and Robinson, I. M. and Escobar, A. L. and Vergara, J. L. and Fernandez, J. M. (1994) Pulsed laser imaging of rapid Ca2+ gradients in excitable cells. Biophysical Journal, 67 (2). pp. 505-514. ISSN 0006-3495

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Excitable cells are thought to respond to action potentials by forming short lived and highly localized Ca2+ gradients near sites of Ca2+ entry or near the site of Ca2+ release by intracellular stores. However, conventional imaging techniques lack the spatial and temporal resolution to capture these gradients. Here we demonstrate the use of pulsed-laser microscopy to measure Ca2+ gradients with submicron spatial resolution and millisecond time resolution in two preparations where the Ca2+ signal is thought to be fast and highly localized: adrenal chromaffin cells, where the entry of Ca2+ through voltage dependent Ca2+ channels triggers exocytotic fusion; and skeletal muscle fibers, where intracellular Ca2+ release from the sarcoplasmic reticulum initiates contraction. In chromaffin cells, Ca2+ gradients developed over 10–100 ms and were initially restricted to discrete submembrane domains, or hot spots, before developing into complete rings of elevated Ca2+ concentration. In frog skeletal muscle large, short-lived (approximately 6 ms) Ca2+ gradients were observed within individual sarcomeres following induction of action potentials. The pulsed laser imaging approach permits, for the first time, the capture and critical examination of rapid Ca2+ signaling events such as those underlying excitation-secretion and excitation-contraction coupling.

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Biophysical Journal
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06 Sep 2023 12:50
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16 Sep 2023 02:44