The involvement of cell volume in the K+-evoked Ca2+ signaling was studied in cultured rat glomerulosa cells. Previously we reported that hyposmosis (250 mOsm) increased the amplitude of T-type Ca2+ current and, accordingly, enhanced the Ca2+ response of cultured rat glomerulosa cells to K+. In the present study we found that this enhancement is not influenced by the cytoskeleton-disrupting drugs cytochalasin-D (20 μM) and colchicine (100 μM). Elevation of extracellular potassium concentration ([K+]e) from 3.6 to 4.6-8.6 mM induced cell swelling, which had slower kinetics than the Ca 2+ signal. Cytoplasmic Ca2+ signal measured in single glomerulosa cells in response to stimulation with 5 mM K+ for 2 min showed two phases: after a rapid rise reaching a plateau within 20-30 sec, [Ca2+]c increased further slowly by approximately one third. When 5 mM K+ was coapplied with elevation of extracellular osmolarity from 290 to 320 mOsm, the second phase was prevented. These results indicate that cell swelling evoked by physiological elevation of [K+]e may contribute to the generation of sustained Ca2+ signals by enhancing voltage-activated Ca2+ influx.
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