Subcellular properties of [Ca2+]i transients in phospholamban-deficient mouse ventricular cells

Jörg Hüser, Donald M Bers, Lothar A. Blatter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The regulatory protein phospholamban exerts a physiological inhibitory effect on the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) Ca2+ pump that is relieved with phosphorylation. We have studied the subcellular properties of intracellular Ca2+ ([Ca2+]i) transients in ventricular myocytes isolated from wild-type (WT) and phospholamban-deficient (PLB-KO) mice. In PLB-KO myocytes, steady-state twitch [Ca2+]i transients revealed an accelerated relaxation and the occurrence of highly localized failures of Ca2+ release. The acceleration of SR Ca2+ uptake caused an increase in SR Ca2+ load with the frequent occurrence of spontaneous [Ca2+]i waves and Ca2+ sparks. [Ca2+]i waves in PLB-KO cells showed a marked decrease in spatial width and more frequently appeared to abort. Local Ca2+ release events (Ca2+ sparks) were larger and more variable in amplitude and [Ca2+]i declined faster in PLB-KO myocytes. Increased local buffering and reduction in the refractoriness of SR Ca2+ release caused by the increased SR pump rate led to an overall enhancement of local [Ca2+]i gradients and inhomogeneities in the [Ca2+]i distribution during spontaneous Ca2+ release, [Ca2+]i waves, and excitation-contraction coupling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Calcium sparks
  • Confocal microscopy
  • Excitation-contraction coupling
  • Intracellular calcium waves
  • Sarcoplasmic reticulum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology


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