The mechanism of action of a novel compound, 2,5-di-(t-butyl)-1,4-benzohydroquinone (BHQ), used to modulate cell free cytosolic Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i) was studied in AR42J cells and pancreatic acini by using single-cell fluorescence techniques applied to Fura-2-loaded cells. In the presence of extracellular Ca2+ (Ca(2+)out), BHQ induced a biphasic [Ca2+]i increase, an initial and rapid transient followed by a sustained increase. The initial increase was due to Ca2+ release from intracellular stores, being independent of Ca(2+)out. The sustained response was due to Ca2+ entry, being dependent on Ca(2+)out, blocked by La3+ and correlated with an increased rate of Mn2+ entry, all indicative of increased plasma-membrane permeability to Ca2+. Treatment of AR42J cells with BHQ for about 5 min reversibly blocked agonist-dependent Ca2+ release and oscillations, whereas agonist pretreatment decreased, but did not prevent, the effects of BHQ on [Ca2+]i. Accordingly, depletion of the Ins(1,4,5)P3-mobilizable pool in permeabilized AR42J cells by BHQ required 5 min of incubation, although inhibition of the internal Ca2+ pump by BHQ was rapid. These observations suggest that BHQ mobilized an additional intracellular Ca2+ pool that did not respond to changes in Ins(1,4,5)P3. Manoalide, an inhibitor of Ca2+ channels, inhibited agonist-evoked [Ca2+]i oscillation and [Ca2+]i increase in a dose- and time-dependent manner without significant effect on internal Ca2+ pumps and Ca2+ content of the internal stores. Manoalide also inhibited the BHQ-evoked [Ca2+]i increase in the absence and presence of Ca(2+)out. Neither BHQ nor manoalide affected Ins(1,4,5)P3 levels in resting or stimulated cells. Therefore, the effect of BHQ appears to involve unmasking of passive Ca(2+)-permeation pathways in the plasma and intracellular membranes that do not respond to cholecystokinin octapeptide, following its described inhibition of the internal-store Ca2+ pumps responsible for accumulating Ca2+ in these pools.

This content is only available as a PDF.