Dynamic modulation of Ca2+ sparks by mitochondrial oscillations in isolated guinea pig cardiomyocytes under oxidative stress

Lufang Zhou, Miguel Antonio Aon, Ting Liu, Brian O'Rourke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Local control of Ca2+-induced Ca2+ release (CICR) depends on the spatial organization of L-type Ca2+ channels and ryanodine receptors (RyR) in the dyad. Analogously, Ca2+ uptake by mitochondria is facilitated by their close proximity to the Ca2+ release sites, a process required for stimulating oxidative phosphorylation during changes in work. Mitochondrial feedback on CICR is less well understood. Since mitochondria are a primary source of reactive oxygen species (ROS), they could potentially influence the cytosolic redox state, in turn altering RyR open probability. We have shown that self-sustained oscillations in mitochondrial inner membrane potential (ΔΨm), NADH, ROS, and reduced glutathione (GSH) can be triggered by a laser flash in cardiomyocytes. Here, we employ this method to directly examine how acute changes in energy state dynamically influence resting Ca2+ spark occurrence and properties. Two-photon laser scanning microscopy was used to monitor cytosolic Ca2+ (or ROS), ΔΨm, and NADH (or GSH) simultaneously in isolated guinea pig cardiomyocytes. Resting Ca2+ spark frequency increased with each ΔΨm depolarization and decreased with ΔΨm repolarization without affecting Ca2+ spark amplitude or time-to-peak. Stabilization of mitochondrial energetics by pretreatment with the superoxide scavenger TMPyP, or by acute addition of 4'-chlorodiazepam, a mitochondrial benzodiazepine receptor antagonist that blocks the inner membrane anion channel, prevented or reversed, respectively, the increased spark frequency. Cyclosporine A did not block the ΔΨm oscillations or prevent Ca2+ spark modulation by ΔΨm. The results support the hypothesis that mitochondria exert an influential role on the redox environment of the Ca2+ handling subsystem, with mechanistic implications for the pathophysiology of cardiac disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)632-639
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2011


  • Antioxidants
  • Bioenergetics
  • Calcium sparks
  • Mitochondrial inner membrane
  • Oxidative phosphorylation
  • Reactive oxygen species
  • Redox biology
  • Ryanodine receptor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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