Muscarinic acetylcholine receptors activate TRPC6 channels in PC12D cells via Ca2+ store-independent mechanisms

Lei Zhang, Feifan Guo, Ju Young Kim, David Saffen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


In this paper we report that stimulation of mAChRs in PC12D cells activates Ca2+ channels that are regulated independently of intracellular Ca2+ stores. In nominally Ca2+-free medium, exposure of PC12D cells to carbachol stimulates a robust influx of Ba2+, a Ca2+ substitute. This influx is blocked by atropine, but not by inhibitors of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor or L-, N-, or T-type voltage-regulated Ca2+ channels. By contrast, depletion of intracellular Ca2+ stores with thapsigargin only weakly stimulates Ba2+ influx. Unlike store-operated Ca2+ channels (SOCCs), which close only after intracellular Ca2+ stores refill, channels mediating carbachol-stimulated Ba2+ influx rapidly close following the inactivation of mAChRs with atropine. Ba2+ influx is inhibited by extracellular Ca2+, by the Ca2+ channel blocker SKF-96365, and by activation of protein kinase C (PKC). Exogenous expression of antisense RNA encoding the rat canonical-transient receptor potential Ca 2+ channel subtype 6 (TRPC6) or the N-terminal domain of TRPC6 blocks carbachol-stimulated Ba2+ influx in PC12D cells. Expression of TRPC6 antisense RNA or the TRPC6 N-terminal domain also blocks Ba2+ influx stimulated by 1-oleoyl-2-acetyl-sn-glycerol (OAG), a diacylglycerol analog previously shown to activate exogenously expressed TRPC6 channels. These data show that mAChRs in PC12D cells activate endogenous Ca2+ channels that are regulated independently of Ca2+ stores and require the expression of TRPC6.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)459-470
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Biochemistry
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2006

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by Grants-in-Aid (#07279107) for Scientific Research in Priority Areas on ‘‘Functional Development of Neural Circuits,’’ the Ministry of Education, Science, Sports and Culture of Japan, the Japan Science and Technology Corporation (CREST), funds from the Department of Pharmacology, Ohio State University and a grant from the Psychiatric Research Foundation, Columbus, Ohio. We thank Tatsuya Haga (Gakushuin University, Tokyo), and Tomoyuki Takahashi (Tokyo University) for critical comments and valuable discussions.


  • Barium
  • Calcium
  • Muscarinic acetylcholine receptor
  • PC12
  • TRPC6


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