Pluripotent stem cells represent a new source of biological material allowing the exploration of signaling phenomena during normal cell development and differentiation. Still, the calcium signaling pathways and intracellular calcium responses to various ligands or stress conditions have not been sufficiently explored as yet in embryonic or induced pluripotent stem cells and in their differentiated offspring. This is partly due to the special culturing conditions of these cell types, the rapid morphological and functional changes in heterogeneous cell populations during early differentiation, and methodological problems in cellular calcium measurements. In this paper, we review the currently available data in the literature on calcium signaling in pluripotent stem cells and discuss the potential shortcomings of these studies. Various assay methods are surveyed for obtaining reliable data both in undifferentiated embryonic stem cells and in specific, stem cell-derived human tissues. In this paper, we present the modulation of calcium signaling in human embryonic stem cells (hESC) and in their derivates; mesenchymal stem cell like (MSCl) cells and cardiac tissues using the fluorescent calcium indicator Fluo-4 and confocal microscopy. LPA, trypsin and angiotensin II were effective in inducing calcium signals both in HUES9 and MSCl cells. Histamine and thrombin induced calcium signal exclusively in the MSCl cells, while ATP was effective only in HUES9 cells. There was no calcium signal evoked by GABA, even at relatively high concentrations. In stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes a rapid increase in the beating rate and an increase of the calcium signal peaks could be observed after the addition of adrenaline, while verapamil led to a strong decrease in cellular calcium and stopped spontaneous contractions in a relaxed state.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology