Interstitial cells of Cajal (ICC) serve as electrical pacemakers in the rabbit urethra. Pacemaking activity in ICC results from spontaneous intracellular Ca(2+) waves that rely on Ca(2+) release from endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stores. The purpose of this study was to investigate if the action of protein kinase A (PKA) affected the generation of Ca(2+) waves in ICC. Intracellular [Ca(2+)] was measured in fluo-4 loaded ICC, freshly isolated from the rabbit urethra using a Nipkow spinning disc confocal microscope. Application of the PKA inhibitor H-89 (10 μM) significantly inhibited the generation of spontaneous Ca(2+) waves in ICC and this was associated with a significant decrease in the ER Ca(2+) load, measured with 10mM caffeine responses. Ca(2+) waves could be rescued in the presence of H-89 by stimulating ryanodine receptors (RyRs) with 1mM caffeine but not by activation of inositol 1,4,5 tri-phosphate receptors (IP3Rs) with 10 μM phenylephrine. Increasing intracellular PKA with the cAMP agonists forskolin and 8-bromo-cAMP failed to yield an increase in Ca(2+) wave activity. We conclude that PKA may be maximally active under basal conditions in ICC and that inhibition of PKA with H-89 leads to a decreased ER Ca(2+) load sufficient to inactivate IP3Rs but not RyRs.
Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland ->