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BACKGROUND: Cyclic ADP-ribose (cADPR) has been shown to act as a potent cytosolic mediator in a variety of tissues, regulating the release of Ca2+ from intracellular stores by a mechanism that involves ryanodine receptors. There is controversy over the effects of cADPR in cardiac muscle, although one possibility is that endogenous cADPR increases the Ca2+ sensitivity of Ca2+-induced Ca2+ release (CICR) from the sarcoplasmic reticulum. We investigated this possibility using 8-amino-cADPR, which has been found to antagonize the Ca2+-releasing effects of cADPR on sea urchin egg microsomes and in mammalian cells (Purkinje neurons, Jurkat T cells, smooth muscle and PC12 cells). RESULTS: In intact cardiac myocytes isolated from guinea-pig ventricle, cytosolic injection of 8-amino-cADPR substantially reduced contractions and Ca2+ transients accompanying action potentials (stimulated at 1Hertz). These reductions were not seen with injection of HEPES buffer, with heat-inactivated 8-amino-cADPR, or in cells pretreated with ryanodine (2 microM) to suppress sarcoplasmic reticulum function before injection of the 8-amino-cADPR. L-type Ca2+ currents and the extent of Ca2+ loading of the sarcoplasmic reticulum were not reduced by 8-amino-cADPR. CONCLUSIONS: These observations are consistent with the hypothesis that endogenous cADPR plays an important role during normal contraction of cardiac myocytes. One possibility is that cADPR sensitizes the CICR mechanism to Ca2+, an action antagonized by 8-amino-cADPR (leading to reduced Ca2+ transients and contractions). A direct effect of 8-amino-cADPR on CICR cannot be excluded, but observations with caffeine are not consistent with a non-selective block of release channels.

Original publication




Journal article


Curr Biol

Publication Date





989 - 996


Adenosine Diphosphate Ribose, Animals, Calcium, Calcium Channels, Cyclic ADP-Ribose, Guinea Pigs, Humans, In Vitro Techniques, Myocardial Contraction