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Calcium Release Domains in Mammalian Skeletal Muscle Studied with Two-photon Imaging and Spot Detection Techniques


The spatiotemporal characteristics of the Ca(2+) release process in mouse skeletal muscle were investigated in enzymatically dissociated fibers from flexor digitorum brevis (FDB) muscles, using a custom-made two-photon microscope with laser scanning imaging (TPLSM) and spot detection capabilities. A two-microelectrode configuration was used to electrically stimulate the muscle fibers, to record action potentials (APs), and to control their myoplasmic composition. We used 125 muM of the low-affinity Ca(2+) indicator Oregon green 488 BAPTA-5N (OGB-5N), and 5 or 10 mM of the Ca(2+) chelator EGTA (pCa 7) in order to arrest fiber contraction and to constrain changes in the [Ca(2+)] close to the release sites. Image and spot data showed that the resting distribution of OGB-5N fluorescence was homogeneous along the fiber, except for narrow peaks ( approximately 23% above the bulk fluorescence) centered at the Z-lines, as evidenced by their nonoverlapping localization with respect to di-8-ANEPPS staining of the transverse tubules (T-tubules). Using spot detection, localized Ca(2+) transients evoked by AP stimulation were recorded from adjacent longitudinal positions 100 nm apart. The largest and fastest DeltaF/F transients were detected at sites flanking the Z-lines and colocalized with T-tubules; the smallest and slowest were detected at the M-line, whereas transients at the Z-line showed intermediate features. Three-dimensional reconstructions demonstrate the creation of two AP-evoked Ca(2+) release domains per sarcomere, which flank the Z-line and colocalize with T-tubules. In the presence of 10 mM intracellular EGTA, these domains are formed in approximately 1.4 ms and dissipate within approximately 4 ms, after the peak of the AP. Their full-width at half-maximum (FWHM), measured at the time that Ca(2+) transients peaked at T-tubule locations, was 0.62 mum, similar to the 0.61 mum measured for di-8-ANEPPS profiles. Both these values exceed the limit of resolution of the optical system, but their similarity suggests that at high [EGTA] the Ca(2+) domains in adult mammalian muscle fibers are confined to Ca(2+) release sites located at the junctional sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR).

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