Intrarenal changes in cytoplasmic calciumlevels have a key role in determining pathologic and pharmacologic responses inmajor kidney diseases. However, cell-specific delivery of calcium-sensitive probes in vivo remains problematic. We generated a transgenic rat stably expressing the green fluorescent protein-calmodulin- based genetically encoded calcium indicator (GCaMP2) predominantly in the kidney proximal tubules. The transposon-based method used allowed the generation of homozygous transgenic rats containing one copy of the transgene per allele with a defined insertion pattern, without genetic or phenotypic alterations. We applied in vitro confocal and in vivo two-photon microscopy to examine basal calcium levels and ligand- and drug-induced alterations in these levels in proximal tubular epithelial cells. Notably, renal ischemia induced a transient increase in cellular calcium, and reperfusion resulted in a secondary calcium load, which was significantly decreased by systemic administration of specific blockers of the angiotensin receptor and the Na-Ca exchanger. The parallel examination of in vivo cellular calcium dynamics and renal circulation by fluorescent probes opens new possibilities for physiologic and pharmacologic investigations.
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