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Cell density and growth-dependent down-regulation of both intracellular calcium responses to agonist stimuli and expression of smooth-surfaced endoplasmic reticulum in MC3T3-E1 osteoblast-like cells.

  • Koizumi, Toshiyuki
  • Hikiji, Hisako
  • Shin, Wee Soo
  • Takato, Tsuyoshi
  • Fukuda, Satoru
  • Abe, Takahiro
  • Koshikiya, Noboru
  • Iwasawa, Kuniaki
  • Toyo-oka, Teruhiko
Published Article
The Journal of biological chemistry
Publication Date
Feb 21, 2003
PMID: 12471030


A two-dimensional intracellular Ca(2+) ([Ca(2+)](i)) imaging system was used to examine the relationship between [Ca(2+)](i) handling and the proliferation of MC3T3-E1 osteoblast-like cells. The resting [Ca(2+)](i) level in densely cultured cells was 1.5 times higher than the [Ca(2+)](i) level in sparsely cultured cells or in other cell types (mouse fibroblasts, rat vascular smooth muscle cells, and bovine endothelial cells). A high resting [Ca(2+)](i) level may be specific for MC3T3-E1 cells. MC3T3-E1 cells were stimulated with ATP (10 microM), caffeine (10 mM), thapsigargin (1 microM), or ionomycin (10 microM), and the effect on the [Ca(2+)](i) level of MC3T3-E1 cells was studied. The percentage of responding cells and the degree of [Ca(2+)](i) elevation were high in the sparsely cultured cells and low in densely cultured cells. The rank order for the percentage of responding cells and magnitude of the Ca(2+) response to the stimuli was ionomycin > thapsigargin = ATP > caffeine and suggests the existence of differences among the various [Ca(2+)](i) channels. All Ca(2+) responses in the sparsely cultured MC3T3-E1 cells, unlike in other cell types, disappeared after the cells reached confluence. Heptanol treatment of densely cultured cells restored the Ca(2+) response, suggesting that cell-cell contact is involved with the confluence-dependent disappearance of the Ca(2+) response. Immunohistological analysis of type 1 inositol trisphosphate receptors and electron microscopy showed distinct expression of inositol trisphosphate receptor proteins and smooth-surfaced endoplasmic reticulum in sparsely cultured cells but reduced levels in densely cultured cells. These results indicate that the underlying basis of confluence-dependent [Ca(2+)](i) regulation is down-regulation of smooth-surfaced endoplasmic reticulum by cell-cell contacts.

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