Nuclear and cytosolic calcium levels in NIH 3T3 fibroblasts
The spatial distribution of intracellular calcium in resting NIH 3T3 fibroblasts loaded with Fura-2 has been studied by digital image analysis. Calibration parameters were determined separately for the nucleus and the cytosol to take into account possible differences in the physico-chemical properties of the two compartments and were found not to differ significantly. The apparent resting calcium concentration in these cells was found to be significantly lower in the nucleus than in the cytoplasm; however, this difference appears to be an artefact arising from the presence in the cytoplasm of regions with higher calcium levels. Application of thapsigargin, to block active uptake of calcium into these compartments, substantially eliminated the differences between nuclear and cytosolic calcium concentrations. These observations indicate that nuclear and cytosolic calcium are in equilibrium in the resting fibroblasts and argue against the existence of diffusional barriers between these two compartments.
Key wordsCytosolic calcium Image analysis NIH3T3 fibroblasts Nuclear calcium
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