Author(s): Cho MR, Thatte HS, Silvia MT, Golan DE
Abstract Share this page
Abstract Exogenous electric fields induce cellular responses including redistribution of integral membrane proteins, reorganization of microfilament structures, and changes in intracellular calcium ion concentration ([Ca2+]i). Although increases in [Ca2+]i caused by application of direct current electric fields have been documented, quantitative measurements of the effects of alternating current (ac) electric fields on [Ca2+]i are lacking and the Ca2+ pathways that mediate such effects remain to be identified. Using epifluorescence microscopy, we have examined in a model cell type the [Ca2+]i response to ac electric fields. Application of a 1 or 10 Hz electric field to human hepatoma (Hep3B) cells induces a fourfold increase in [Ca2+]i (from 50 nM to 200 nM) within 30 min of continuous field exposure. Depletion of Ca2+ in the extracellular medium prevents the electric field-induced increase in [Ca2+]i, suggesting that Ca2+ influx across the plasma membrane is responsible for the [Ca2+]i increase. Incubation of cells with the phospholipase C inhibitor U73122 does not inhibit ac electric field-induced increases in [Ca2+]i, suggesting that receptor-regulated release of intracellular Ca2+ is not important for this effect. Treatment of cells with either the stretch-activated cation channel inhibitor GdCl3 or the nonspecific calcium channel blocker CoCl2 partially inhibits the [Ca2+]i increase induced by ac electric fields, and concomitant treatment with both GdCl3 and CoCl2 completely inhibits the field-induced [Ca2+]i increase. Since neither Gd3+ nor Co2+ is efficiently transported across the plasma membrane, these data suggest that the increase in [Ca2+]i induced by ac electric fields depends entirely on Ca2+ influx from the extracellular medium.
This article was published in FASEB J
and referenced in Journal of Electrical & Electronic Systems