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This article has been peer reviewed. It was published in: The Journal of cell biology.

Volume 170, Issue 7, September 2005, Pages 1079-1090.

The published version is available at PMID: 16186254 . Copyright © The Rockefeller University Press.


Reactive oxygen species (ROS) play a divergent role in both cell survival and cell death during ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury and associated inflammation. In this study, ROS generation by activated macrophages evoked an intracellular Ca2+ ([Ca2+]i) transient in endothelial cells that was ablated by a combination of superoxide dismutase and an anion channel blocker. [Ca2+]i store depletion, but not extracellular Ca2+ chelation, prevented [Ca2+]i elevation in response to O2*- that was inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (InsP3) dependent, and cells lacking the three InsP3 receptor (InsP3R) isoforms failed to display the [Ca2+]i transient. Importantly, the O2*--triggered Ca2+ mobilization preceded a loss in mitochondrial membrane potential that was independent of other oxidants and mitochondrially derived ROS. Activation of apoptosis occurred selectively in response to O2*- and could be prevented by [Ca2+]i buffering. This study provides evidence that O2*- facilitates an InsP3R-linked apoptotic cascade and may serve a critical function in I/R injury and inflammation.

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