Growth factors but not gap junctions play a role in injury-induced Ca2+ waves in epithelial cells
Journal of Cell Science
This paper characterizes the early responses of epithelial cells to injury. Ca2+ is an important early messenger that transiently increases in the cytoplasm of cells in response to external stimuli. Its elevation leads to the regulation of signaling pathways responsible for the downstream events important for wound repair, such as cell migration and proliferation. Live cell imaging in combination with confocal laser scanning microscopy of fluo-3 AM loaded cells was performed. We found that
... nical injury in a confluent region of cells creates an elevation in Ca2+ that is immediately initiated at the wound edge and travels as a wave to neighboring cells, with [Ca2+]i returning to background levels within two minutes. Addition of epidermal growth factor (EGF), but not platelet-derived growth factor-BB, resulted in increased [Ca2+]i, and EGF specifically enhanced the amplitude and duration of the injury-induced Ca2+ wave. Propagation of the Ca2+ wave was dependent on intracellular Ca2+ stores, as was demonstrated using both thapsigargin and Ca2+ chelators (EGTA and BAPTA/AM). Injury-induced Ca2+ waves were not mediated via gap junctions, as the gap-junction inhibitors 1-heptanol and 18alpha-glycyrrhetinic acid did not alter wave propagation, nor did the cells recover in photobleaching experiments. Additional studies also demonstrated that the wave could propagate across an acellular region. The propagation of the injury-induced Ca2+ wave occurs via diffusion of an extracellular mediator, most probably via a nucleotide such as ATP or UTP, that is released upon cell damage.