Role of membrane potential in the regulation of lectin-induced calcium uptake

J Cell Physiol. 1984 Dec;121(3):533-9. doi: 10.1002/jcp.1041210312.


Incubation of lymphocytes with mitogenic lectins triggers Ca2+ uptake. This increase in free cytoplasmic Ca2+ is postulated to be an important signal in the initiation of DNA synthesis. Transmembrane fluxes of monovalent ions and changes in membrane potential are also associated with lectin-induced activation of lymphocytes. We have examined the relationship between extra-cellular monovalent ion substitution, the associated electrical potential changes (measured with cyanine dyes), phytohemagglutinin-induced Ca2+ uptake (measured with Quin-2) and proliferation in human T cells. The results show that (1) the magnitude of the increase in free cytoplasmic Ca2+ concentration is correlated with the extent of the lymphoproliferative response, (2) lectin-induced Ca2+ fluxes are sensitive to membrane potential, decreasing with depolarization, and are likely conductive, and (3) the presence of extra-cellular Na+ during incubation with phytohemagglutinin is not essential to mitogenic triggering.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Calcium / metabolism*
  • Cations / pharmacology
  • Cations, Monovalent / pharmacology
  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • Cytoplasm / metabolism
  • DNA / biosynthesis
  • Humans
  • Lectins / pharmacology*
  • Lymphocytes / cytology
  • Lymphocytes / physiology
  • Membrane Potentials* / drug effects
  • Phytohemagglutinins / pharmacology


  • Cations
  • Cations, Monovalent
  • Lectins
  • Phytohemagglutinins
  • DNA
  • Calcium