B and T lymphocytes undergoing apoptosis in response to anti- immunoglobulin M antibodies and dexamethasone, respectively, were found to have increased amounts of messenger RNA for the inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptor (IP3R) and increased amounts of IP3R protein. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed that the augmented receptor population was localized to the plasma membrane. Type 3 IP3R (IP3R3) was selectively increased during apoptosis, with no enhancement of type 1 IP3R (IP3R1). Expression of IP3R3 antisense constructs in S49 T cells blocked dexamethasone-induced apoptosis, whereas IP3R3 sense, IP3R1 sense, or IP3R1 antisense control constructs did not block cell death. Thus, the increases in IP3R3 may be causally related to apoptosis.
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