Localised and rapid Ca2+ micro-events in human neutrophils: conventional Ca2+ puffs and global waves without peripheral-restriction or wave cycling

Cell Calcium. 2007 Jun;41(6):525-36. doi: 10.1016/j.ceca.2006.10.010. Epub 2007 Feb 26.


Ultra-localised and peripherally restricted zones of elevated Ca2+ (z-waves) have been reported to cycle around the periphery of neutrophils at low frequency (1/20s) in the absence of conventional localised Ca2+ (puffs) and global Ca2+ (waves) signals. However, we report here that fast confocal laser scanning of human neutrophils loaded with either cytosolic fluo4 or its membrane associated analogue, MOMO reports both "conventional" stationary Ca2+ "puffs" (diameter c.3 microm) and global Ca2+ waves that sweep across the cell. The Ca2+ puff size and frequency of detection suggests that each neutrophil contained only a single release site and that its detection was limited by the location of the confocal plane relative to the event. Both formylated peptide receptor stimulation and cytosolic IP3 uncaging generated Ca2+ puffs (c.6% of cells) and global Ca2+ signals (c.75% of cells). The Ca2+ puffs peaked at approx. 250 nM and had a duration of approx. 235 msec and remained at a single locus. This was similar to other Ca2+ events in other cell types but in direct contrast to the reported z-waves. It was concluded that the micro-events which underlie Ca2+ signalling in neutrophils are conventional and that the existence of novel Ca2+z-waves is doubtful.

MeSH terms

  • Calcium / metabolism*
  • Calcium Signaling*
  • Humans
  • Microscopy, Confocal
  • Neutrophils / metabolism*


  • Calcium