Letter | Published:

Non-uniform Ca2+ buffer distribution in a nerve cell body

Nature volume 286, pages 816817 (21 August 1980) | Download Citation

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Abstract

In nerve cells, Ca2+ influx through voltage-dependent channels in the membrane causes a transient rise in the intracellular, free Ca2+ concentration1–3. Such changes have been shown to be important for the release of transmitter at the axon terminal3,4 and for the control of the movement of ions through channels in the soma membrane5,6. The transient behaviour of the rise in Ca2+ concentration can, in part, be explained by the presence of sequestering systems in the cell which tend to limit the magnitude and duration of changes in internal Ca2+ (refs 7–10). It is possible that systems involved in buffering changes in internal Ca2+ are not distributed uniformly throughout the cell. This is particularly likely in the cell body, where a significant portion of the cytoplasm is occupied by the nucleus, whose buffering capacity may differ from that of other cellular regions. We report here that in the soma of a molluscan pacemaker neurone, the machinery responsible for short-term buffering of Ca2+ ions is localized near the inner surface of the plasma membrane.

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Author information

Affiliations

  1. Department of Physiology, Boston University School of Medicine, 80 E. Concord Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02118

    • D. Tillotson
    •  & A. L. F. Gorman

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/286816a0

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