Background and purpose: The sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) releases Ca(2+) via inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptors (IP(3)R) in response to IP(3)-generating agonists. Ca(2+) release subsequently propagates as Ca(2+) waves. To clarify the role of IP(3) production in wave generation, the contribution of a key enzyme in the production of IP(3) was examined using a phosphoinositide-specific phospholipase C (PI-PLC) inhibitor, U-73122.
Experimental approach: Single colonic myocytes were voltage-clamped in whole-cell configuration and cytosolic Ca(2+) concentration ([Ca(2+)](cyto)) measured using fluo-3. SR Ca(2+) release was evoked either by activation of IP(3)Rs (by carbachol or photolysis of caged IP(3)) or ryanodine receptors (RyRs; by caffeine).
Key results: U-73122 inhibited carbachol-evoked [Ca(2+)](cyto) transients. The drug also inhibited [Ca(2+)](cyto) increases, evoked by direct IP(3)R activation (by photolysis of caged IP(3)) and RyR activation (by caffeine), which do not require PI-PLC activation. U-73122 also increased steady-state [Ca(2+)](cyto) and slowed the rate of Ca(2+) removal from the cytoplasm. An inactive analogue of U-73122, U-73343, was without effect on either IP(3)R- or RyR-mediated Ca(2+) release.
Conclusions and implications: U-73122 inhibited carbachol-evoked [Ca(2+)](cyto) increases. However, the drug also reduced Ca(2+) release when evoked by direct activation of IP(3)R or RyR, slowed Ca(2+) removal and increased steady-state [Ca(2+)](cyto). These results suggest U-73122 reduces IP(3)-evoked Ca(2+) transients by inhibiting the SR Ca(2+) pump to deplete the SR of Ca(2+) rather than by inhibiting PI-PLC.