Release of Ca2+ from intracellular stores was studied in the parent PC12 cell line and in recently isolated clones sensitive or insensitive to caffeine. In the caffeine-sensitive cells the cytosolic free Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i) responses by the xanthine drug and by stimulants of receptors coupled to inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (Ins-P3) generation (bradykinin, ATP) depend on separate pathways because 1) caffeine does not stimulate the hydrolysis of phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate and 2) Ca(2+)-induced Ca2+ release, the process activated by caffeine, plays no major role in the Ins-P3-induced Ca2+ mobilization. Although distinct, these two mechanisms converge onto the same Ca2+ store. In fact 1) the [Ca2+]i responses by receptor agonists and caffeine were not additive; 2) either type of agent reduced (up to complete inhibition) the response to a subsequent administration of the same or the other agent; 3) all these responses were prevented by selective Ca2+ ATPase blockers; 4) ryanodine, which af fects the intracellular Ca2+ channel sensitive to caffeine, also induced depletion of the receptor-sensitive Ca2+ pool; 5) in the 10 PC12 clones tested, sensitivity to caffeine paralleled ryanodine sensitivity. Therefore, PC12 cells, similar to some smooth muscle fibers but at variance with neurons and other secretory cells, express a single, rapidly exchanging Ca2+ store in which two distinct intracellular Ca2+ channels, i.e. the receptors for caffeine-ryanodine and Ins-P3, appear to be colocalized.
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