Passive Ca2+ binding in ventricular myocardium of neonatal and adult rats

Rosana A. Bassani, Thomas R. Shannon, Donald M Bers

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27 Scopus citations


In this study, passive Ca2+ binding was determined in ventricular homogenates (VH) from neonatal (4-6 days) and adult rats, as well as in digitonin-permeabilized adult ventricular myocytes. Ca2+ binding sites, both endogenous and exogenous (Indo-1 and BAPTA) were titrated. Sarcoplasmic reticulum and mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake were blocked by thapsigargin and Ru360, respectively. Free [Ca2+] ([Ca2+](F)) was measured with Indo-1 and bound Ca2+ ([Ca2+](B)) was the difference between [Ca2+](F) and total Ca2+. Apparent Ca2+ dissociation constants (K(d)) for BAPTA and Indo-1 were increased by 10-20mg VH protein/ml (from 0.35 to 0.92 μM for Indo-1 and from 0.20 to 0.76 μM for BAPTA) and also by ruthenium red in the case of Indo-1. Titration with successive CaCl2 additions (2.5-10 nmoles) yielded δ[Ca2+](B)/δ[Ca2+](F) for the sum of [Ca2+](B) at all three classes of binding sites. From this function, the apparent number of endogenous sites (B(en)) and their K(d) (K(en)) were determined. Similar K(en) values were obtained in neonatal and adult VH, as well as in adult myocytes (0.68 ± 0.14 μM, 0.69 ± 0.13 μM and 0.53 ± 0.10 μM, respectively). However, B(en) was significantly higher in adult myocytes than in adult VH (1.73 ± 0.35 versus 0.70 ± 0.12 nmol/mg protein, P < 0.01), which correspond to ~300 and 213 μmol/l cytosol. This indicates that binding sites are more concentrated in myocytes than in other ventricular components and that B(en) determined in VH underestimates cellular B(en) by 29%. Although B(en) values in nmol/mg protein were similar in adult and neonatal VH (0.69 ± 0.12), protein content was much higher in adult ventricle (125 ± 7 versus 80 ± 1 mg protein/g wet weight, P < 0.01). Expressing B(en) per unit cell volume (accounting for fractional mitochondrial volume, and 29% dilution in homogenate), the passive Ca2+ binding capacity at high-affinity sites is ~300 and 176 mmol/l cytosol in adult and neonatal rat ventricular myocytes, respectively. Additional estimates suggest that passive Ca2+ buffering capacity in rat ventricle increases markedly during the first two weeks of life and that adult levels are attained by the end of the first month.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)433-442
Number of pages10
JournalCell Calcium
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Endocrinology


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