Background: Transient receptor potential melastatin 3 (TRPM3) cation channels are ubiquitously expressed by multiple cells and have an important regulatory role in calcium-dependent cell signalling to help maintain cellular homeostasis. TRPM3 protein expression has yet to be determined on Natural Killer (NK) cells and B lymphocytes. Multiple single nucleotide polymorphisms have been reported in TRPM3 genes from isolated peripheral blood mononuclear cells, NK and B cells in Chronic fatigue syndrome/Myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) patients and have been proposed to correlate with illness presentation. The object of the study was to assess TRPM3 surface expression on NK and B lymphocytes from healthy controls, followed by a comparative investigation examining TRPM3 surface expression, and cytoplasmic and mitochondrial calcium influx in CD19(+) B cells, CD56(bright) and CD56(dim) cell populations from CFS/ME patients.
Results: TRPM3 cell surface expression was identified for NK and B lymphocytes in healthy controls (CD56(bright) TRPM3 35.72 % ± 7.37; CD56(dim) 5.74 % ± 2.00; B lymphocytes 2.05 % ± 0.19, respectively). There was a significant reduction of TRPM3 surface expression on CD19(+) B cells (1.56 ± 0.191) and CD56(bright) NK cells (17.37 % ± 5.34) in CFS/ME compared with healthy controls. Anti-CD21 and anti-IgM conjugated biotin was cross-linked with streptavidin,and subsequently treatment with thapsigargin. This showed a significant reduction in cytoplasmic calcium ion concentration in CD19(+) B lymphocytes. CD56(bright) NK cells also had a significant decrease in cytoplasmic calcium in the presence of 2-APB and thapsigargin in CFS/ME patients.
Conclusions: The results from this preliminary investigation identify, for the first time, TRPM3 surface expression on both NK and B lymphocytes in healthy controls. We also report for the first time, significant reduction in TRPM3 cell surface expression in NK and B lymphocytes, as well as decreased intracellular calcium within specific conditions in CFS/ME patients. This warrants further examination of these pathways to elucidate whether TRPM3 and impaired calcium mobilisation has a role in CFS/ME.
Keywords: Calcium signalling; Chronic fatigue syndrome; Myalgic encephalomyelitis; Transient receptor potential.