Effects of calsequestrin over-expression on excitation-contraction coupling in isolated rabbit cardiomyocytes

Miller, S.L.W. and Currie, S. and Loughrey, C.M. and Kettlewell, S. and Seidler, T. and Reynolds, D.F. and Hasenfuss, G. and Smith, G.L. (2005) Effects of calsequestrin over-expression on excitation-contraction coupling in isolated rabbit cardiomyocytes. Cardiovascular Research, 67. pp. 667-677. ISSN 0008-6363

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Objective: This study investigated the role of calsequestrin (CSQ) in the control of excitation–contraction (E–C) coupling in the heart. Methods: CSQ over-expression was induced in isolated rabbit ventricular cardiomyocytes using an adenovirus coding for rabbit CSQ (Ad-CSQ). After 24 h of culture, CSQ protein expression was increased by 58 ± 18% (n = 10). An adenovirus coding for β-galactosidase (Ad-LacZ) was used as a control. Results: In voltage-clamped, Fura-2-loaded cardiomyocytes, L-type Ca2+ current (ICa,L) and Ca2+ transient amplitude were both increased in the Ad-CSQ group by ∼78%. Doubling the external Ca2+ concentration in the control group (Ad-LacZ) increased the LTCC amplitude to a similar degree (85 ± 6%), but increased the Ca2+ transient amplitude by 149 ± 13%. This suggests that SR Ca2+ release may be inhibited upon CSQ over-expression. Alternatively, nifedipine (0.5 μM) was used to reduce ICa,L in Ad-CSQ-transfected cells to values comparable to control (Ad-LacZ). Under these conditions, Ca2+ transient amplitude was not different from Ad-LacZ, but the SR Ca2+ content was ∼60% higher as assessed by both the caffeine-induced Ca2+ release and the accompanying Na+/Ca2+ exchanger current (INCX). The cause of the increased ICa,L is unknown. No change in the expression level of the α1-subunit of the L-type Ca channel was observed. β-Escin-permeabilized cardiomyocytes were used to study Ca2+ sparks imaged with Fluo-3 at 145–155 nmol/L [Ca2+]. Spontaneous Ca2+ spark frequency, duration, width, and amplitude were unchanged in the Ad-CSQ group, but SR Ca2+ content was 48% higher than Ad-LacZ. Conclusions: CSQ over-expression increased SR Ca2+ content but reduced the gain of E–C coupling in rabbit cardiomyocytes.