Expression and function of Na+/Ca2+ exchangers 1 and 3 in human macrophages and monocytes

Rosaria I. Staiano, Francescopaolo Granata, Agnese Secondo, Angelica Petraroli, Stefania Loffredo, Annunziata Frattini, Lucio Annunziato, Gianni Marone, Massimo Triggiani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Na+/Ca2+ exchanger (NCX) is a membrane transporter that can switch Na+ and Ca2+ in either direction to maintain the homeostasis of intracellular Ca2+. Three isoforms (NCX1, NCX2, and NCX3) have been characterized in excitable cells, e.g. neurons and muscle cells. We examined the expression of these NCX isoforms in primary human lung macrophages (HLM) and blood monocytes. NCX1 and NCX3, but not NCX2, are expressed in HLM and monocytes at both mRNA and protein levels. Na+-free medium induced a significant increase in intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca2+]i) in both cell types. This response was completely abolished by the NCX inhibitor 5-(N-4-chlorobenzyl)-20,40-dimethylbenzamil (CB-DMB). Moreover, inhibition of NCX activity during Ca2+-signaling induced by histamine caused a delay in restoring baseline [Ca2+]i. Na+-free medium induced TNF-α expression and release in HLM comparable to that caused by LPS. TNF-αa release induced by Na+-free medium was blocked by CB-DMB and greatly reduced by RNAi-mediated knockdown of NCX1. These results indicate that human macrophages and monocytes express NCX1 and NCX3 that operate in a bidirectional manner to restore [Ca2+]i, to generate Ca2+-signals, and to induce TNF-a production. Therefore, NCX may contribute to regulate Ca2+ homeostasis and proinflammatory functions in human macrophages and monocytes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1405-1418
Number of pages14
JournalEuropean Journal of Immunology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2009


  • Ca-signaling
  • Macrophages
  • Monocytes
  • Na/Ca exchanger

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy


Dive into the research topics of 'Expression and function of Na+/Ca2+ exchangers 1 and 3 in human macrophages and monocytes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this