Intracellular Calcium in NCB-20 Cells: Elevation by Depolarization and Ethanol but Not by Glutamate

Brain Res. 1991 Jan 25;539(2):328-31. doi: 10.1016/0006-8993(91)91639-i.


Intracellular Ca2+, measured in NCB-20 cells with the fluorescent indicator fura-2, was elevated by K(+)-depolarization and by ethanol, but not by the excitatory amino acids L-glutamate and N-methyl-D-aspartate. These amino acids failed to raise intracellular Ca2+ levels even in the presence of elevated extracellular Ca2+, in the absence of extracellular Mg2+ or Na+, under depolarizing conditions, or in differentiated cells, and induced neither 45Ca2+ uptake nor excitotoxic cell death. NCB-20 cells thus appear to express functional voltage-gated, but not N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor-gated, Ca2+ channels.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium / metabolism*
  • Calcium Radioisotopes
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Cricetinae
  • Ethanol / pharmacology*
  • Fura-2
  • Glutamates / pharmacology*
  • Glutamic Acid
  • Mice
  • N-Methylaspartate / metabolism
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate / metabolism
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured / drug effects
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured / metabolism*


  • Calcium Radioisotopes
  • Glutamates
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate
  • Ethanol
  • Glutamic Acid
  • N-Methylaspartate
  • Calcium
  • Fura-2