The effects of inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate, prepared from human erythrocyte ghosts, on Ca2+ release from intracellular store sites were studied in saponin-treated guinea pig peritoneal macrophages. Micromolar concentrations of inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate released Ca2+ within 1 min from store sites which had accumulated Ca2+ in the presence of 10 mM-NaN3. In the presence of 10 mM-NaN3, the Ca2+ accumulated in the presence of oxalate was seen in the endoplasmic reticulum of saponin-treated macrophages by electron microscopy, indicating that the site of Ca2+ released by inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate may be endoplasmic reticulum-like membranes. When the concentrations of free Ca2+ were over 3.5 × 10(-6) M, the release of Ca2+ by this agent was inhibited. This inhibition may be due to either the higher concentration of extra-vesicular free Ca2+ or the larger accumulation of Ca2+ into the store site or perhaps both effects. MgCl2 also had an inhibitory effect on the Ca2+ release. Inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate also released Ca2+ from cardiac sarcoplasmic reticulum, but not from erythrocyte inside-out vesicles.

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