The existence and mechanisms of inactivation of voltage-gated Ca2+ channels are important, but still debatable, physiological problems. By using the Ca2+ indicators quin2 and fura-2, we demonstrate that in PC12 cells voltage-gated Ca2+ channels undergo inactivation dependent on both voltage and [Ca2+]i. Inactivation, however, is never complete and a small number of channels remains open during prolonged depolarization, explaining the steady state elevation of [Ca2+]i observed in cells depolarized with high KCl. A close parallel exists between Ca2+ channel inactivation and the transient nature of neurotransmitter release: secretion is rapidly stimulated during the first 30 s of depolarization, when a transient overshoot in [Ca2+]i can be demonstrated, while it is negligible during the following period, despite the persistence of an elevated [Ca2+]i; predepolarization in Ca2+-free medium and subsequent addition of Ca2+ (a condition which allows the development of the voltage inactivation) abolishes the fast phase of secretion, while not modifying the steady state [Ca2+]i eventually attained; and increases in the intracellular Ca2+ buffering decreases the amplitude of the fast secretion phase induced by KCl without altering the steady state [Ca2+]i. We suggest that localized [Ca2+]i gradients form close to the plasma membrane shortly after depolarization and that the [Ca2+]i reached in these regions is the relevant parameter in the regulation of secretion.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Journal of Biological Chemistry|
|Publication status||Published - Jul 5 1987|
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