Cell Physiology

Oxidant-induced inhibition of the plasma membrane Ca2+-ATPase in pancreatic acinar cells: role of the mitochondria

Erin M. Baggaley, Austin C. Elliott, Jason I. E. Bruce


Impairment of the normal spatiotemporal pattern of intracellular Ca2+ ([Ca2+]i) signaling, and in particular, the transition to an irreversible “Ca2+ overload” response, has been implicated in various pathophysiological states. In some diseases, including pancreatitis, oxidative stress has been suggested to mediate this Ca2+ overload and the associated cell injury. We have previously demonstrated that oxidative stress with hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) evokes a Ca2+ overload response and inhibition of plasma membrane Ca2+-ATPase (PMCA) in rat pancreatic acinar cells (Bruce JI and Elliott AC. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol 293: C938–C950, 2007). The aim of the present study was to further examine this oxidant-impaired inhibition of the PMCA, focusing on the role of the mitochondria. Using a [Ca2+]i clearance assay in which mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake was blocked with Ru-360, H2O2 (50 μM–1 mM) markedly inhibited the PMCA activity. This H2O2-induced inhibition of the PMCA correlated with mitochondrial depolarization (assessed using tetramethylrhodamine methylester fluorescence) but could occur without significant ATP depletion (assessed using Magnesium Green fluorescence). The H2O2-induced PMCA inhibition was sensitive to the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP) inhibitors, cyclosporin-A and bongkrekic acid. These data suggest that oxidant-induced opening of the mPTP and mitochondrial depolarization may lead to an inhibition of the PMCA that is independent of mitochondrial Ca2+ handling and ATP depletion, and we speculate that this may involve the release of a mitochondrial factor. Such a phenomenon may be responsible for the Ca2+ overload response, and for the transition between apoptotic and necrotic cell death thought to be important in many disease states.

  • calcium overload
  • oxidative stress
  • pancreatitis
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