Mitochondrial modulation of Ca2+-induced Ca2+-release in rat sensory neurons

Joshua G. Jackson, Stanley A Thayer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Ca2+-induced Ca2+-release (CICR) from ryanodine-sensitive Ca2+ stores provides a mechanism to amplify and propagate a transient increase in intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca 2+]i). A subset of rat dorsal root ganglion neurons in culture exhibited regenerative CICR when sensitized by caffeine. [Ca 2+]i oscillated in the maintained presence of 5 mM caffeine and 25 mM K+. Here, CICR oscillations were used to study the complex interplay between Ca2+ regulatory mechanisms at the cellular level. Oscillations depended on Ca2+ uptake and release from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and Ca2+ influx across the plasma membrane because cyclopiazonic acid, ryanodine, and removal of extracellular Ca 2+ terminated oscillations. Increasing caffeine concentration decreased the threshold for action potential-evoked CICR and increased oscillation frequency. Mitochondria regulated CICR by providing ATP and buffering [Ca2+]i. Treatment with the ATP synthase inhibitor, oligomycin B, decreased oscillation frequency. When ATP concentration was held constant by recording in the whole cell patch-clamp configuration, oligomycin no longer affected oscillation frequency. Aerobically derived ATP modulated CICR by regulating the rate of Ca2+ sequestration by the ER Ca2+ pump. Neither CICR threshold nor Ca2+ clearance by the plasma membrane Ca2+ pump were affected by inhibition of aerobic metabolism. Uncoupling electron transport with carbonyl cyanide p-trifluoromethoxy-phenyl-hydrazone or inhibiting mitochondrial Na +/Ca2+ exchange with CGP37157 revealed that mitochondrial buffering of [Ca2+]i slowed oscillation frequency, decreased spike amplitude, and increased spike width. These findings illustrate the interdependence of energy metabolism and Ca2+ signaling that results from the complex interaction between the mitochondrion and the ER in sensory neurons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1093-1104
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of neurophysiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2006


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