Pflügers Archiv : European journal of physiology. vol:431 issue:3 pages:318-24
Intracellular Ca2+ signals in response to inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate-producing agents often present themselves as Ca2+ oscillations and propagating Ca2+ waves originating at discrete initiation sites. We studied the spatial organization of the Ca2+ signal in single CPAE endothelial cells stimulated with adenosine triphosphate. The long, thin processes presented a higher agonist sensitivity and, for the same agonist concentration, a faster rise in cytoplasmic Ca2+ concentration and rate of wave propagation than the cell body. Ca2+ waves originated preferentially in one of these processes and then invaded the cell body. Removal of external Ca2+ induced a progressive inhibition up to blockade of the response in the process but not in the cell body. These findings suggest that CPAE cells contain many individual store units, each of which has the inherent ability to set the stage for Ca2+ release. A diffusing messenger originating from the initiation zone then coordinates the events leading to Ca2+ release in the individual store units to produce a Ca2+ wave.