Striatal large aspiny interneurons were recorded from a slice preparation using a combined electrophysiologic and microfluorometric approach. The role of intracellular Ca2+ stores was analyzed during combined oxygen/glucose deprivation (OGD). Before addressing the role of the stores during energy deprivation, the authors investigated their function under physiologic conditions. Trains of depolarizing current pulses caused bursts of action potentials coupled to transient increases in intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca2+]i). In the presence of cyclopiazonic acid (30 micromol/L), a selective inhibitor of the sarcoendoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ pumps, or when ryanodine receptors were directly blocked with ryanodine (20 [micromol/L), the [Ca2+]i transients were progressively smaller in amplitude, suggesting that [Ca2+]i released from intracellular stores helps to maintain a critical level of [Ca2+]i during physiologic firing activity. As the authors have recently reported, brief exposure to combined OGD induced a membrane hyperpolarization coupled to an increase in [Ca2+]i. In the presence of cyclopiazonic acid or ryanodine, the hyperpolarization and the rise in [Ca2+]i induced by OGD were consistently reduced. These data support the hypothesis that Ca2+ release from ryanodine-sensitive Ca2+ pools is involved not only in the potentiation of the Ca2+ signals resulting from cell depolarization, but also in the amplification of the [Ca2+]i rise and of the concurrent membrane hyperpolarization observed in course of OGD in striatal large aspiny interneurons.
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