Following receptor activation in Xenopus oocytes, spiral waves of intracellular Ca2+ release were observed. We have identified key molecular elements in the pathway that give rise to Ca2+ excitability. The patterns of Ca2+ release produced by GTP-γ-S and by inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP3) are indistinguishable from receptor-induced Ca2+ patterns. The regenerative Ca2+ activity is critically dependent on the presence of IP3 and on the concentration of intracellular Ca2+, but is independent of extracellular Ca2+. Broad regions of the intracellular milieu can be synchronously excited to initiate Ca2+ waves and produce pulsating foci of Ca2+ release. By testing the temperature dependence of wavefront propagation, we provide evidence for an underlying process limited by diffusion, consistent with the elementary theory of excitable media. We propose a model for intracellular Ca2+ signaling in which wave propagation is controlled by IP3-mediated Ca2+ release from internal stores, but is modulated by the cytoplasmic concentration and diffusion of Ca2+.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)