A moderate decrease in temperature inhibits the calcium signaling mechanism(s) of the regulatory volume decrease in chick embryo cardiomyocytes

Souza, Marta Marques de; Boyle, Robert Tew


Chick cardiomyocytes, when submitted to hyposmotic swelling, exhibit a partial regulatory volume decrease (RVD). A Ca2+ influx by stretch-activated channels signals a taurine efflux and the RVD at 37°C. We evaluated the cell's performance at room temperature. Cardiomyocytes isolated and cultured from 11-day-old chick embryos were submitted to a hyposmotic solution (180 mOsm/kg H2O) at 37°C and at room temperature (26°C). Under these conditions we measured the changes in cell volume as well as the intracellular free Ca2+ (using fura-2). During hyposmotic swelling, cells at 37°C displayed a peak relative volume of 1.61 ± 0.03 and recovery to 1.22 ± 0.04 (N = 14), while cells at 26°C presented a peak swell relative volume of 1.74 ± 0.06 and did not recover (1.59 ± 0.09, N = 9). Transient increases in intracellular Ca2+, which are characteristic of the normal RVD, were observed at both temperatures (29.1 ± 4.5% (N = 8) and 115.2 ± 42.8% (N = 5) increase at 37° and 26°C (P<0.05), respectively). A delay in the Ca2+ transient increase was also observed when the cells were at 26°C (109 ± 34 s compared to 38 ± 9 s at 37°C, P<0.05). At room temperature the RVD does not occur because the calcium transient increase, which is an early event in the signaling of the RVD, is delayed. Also, free calcium is not cleared as in the 37°C RVD. In the normal RVD the free calcium returns to baseline levels. The very high and persistent free calcium levels seen at room temperature can lead to unregulated enzyme activities and may promote irreversible injury and cell death.

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