Characterisation of serum induced intracellular Ca2+ oscillation in primary bone marrow stromal cells

Megan Foreman, Janet Smith, Stephen Publicover

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30 Citations (Scopus)


Intracellular Ca2+ signalling is pivotal to cell function and [Ca2+]i oscillations permit precise and prolonged modulation of an array of Ca2+-sensitive processes without the need for extended, global elevations in [Ca2+]i. We have studied [Ca2+]i signalling in primary rat marrow stromal cells exposed to foetal calf serum (FCS) constituents at concentrations up to those required to promote growth and differentiation in culture. Spontaneous [Ca2+]i signalling was not observed, but exposure to 1% FCS induced regular, sustained Ca2+ oscillations in 41 +/- 3% of cells. Incidence of FCS-induced oscillations was dose-dependent, saturating at 0.5%. These oscillations were arrested by disruption of Ca2+ stores with 100 nM-1 microM thapsigargin or discharge of mitochondrial membrane potential and were sensitive to blockade of IP3-receptors by 50 microM 2-amino-ethoxydiphenyl borate (2-APB) and inhibition of phospholipase C with 5 microM U73122. The oscillations decreased in frequency and amplitude following inhibition of Ca2+ influx with EGTA or La3+ but were poorly sensitive to nifedipine (1-10 microM) and Bay K 8644 (300 nM). The factor(s) responsible for inducing [Ca2+]i oscillations are heat stable, insensitive to disulphide bond reduction with 20 mM dithioerythritol and retained by a 30 kDa molecular weight filter. Serum is routinely present in culture medium at 10%-15% [v/v] and marrow stromal cells maintained under culture conditions exhibited sustained oscillations. This is the first demonstration of agonist-induced complex Ca2+ signals in marrow stromal cells. We conclude that Ca2+ oscillations occur constantly in these cells in culture and are potentially important regulators of cell proliferation and differentiation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)664-71
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Cellular Physiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2006


  • Animals
  • Bone Marrow Cells
  • Calcium
  • Calcium Channel Blockers
  • Calcium Signaling
  • Cattle
  • Fluorescence
  • Hot Temperature
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Serum
  • Stromal Cells
  • Time Factors


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