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Atrial-specific granules in situ have high calcium content, are acidic, and maintain anion gradients.

By A V Somlyo, R Broderick, H Shuman, E L Buhle and A P Somlyo


The composition and pH of atrial-specific granules of rat heart were determined by electron probe x-ray microanalysis and fluorescence microscopy, respectively. The high (75 mmol/kg of dry weight) calcium content and higher than cytoplasmic concentration of chloride in atrial-specific granules were visualized in high-resolution x-ray maps. The Cl- content of granules and cytoplasm decreased and a bromide gradient (granule greater than cytoplasm) was established during incubation in low-chloride, NaBr-containing solutions. Scanning confocal fluorescence light microscopy of live atria incubated with acridine orange demonstrated dye accumulation, indicative of low intragranular pH. We conclude that the granules represent a hitherto unrecognized intracellular store of cardiac calcium and can develop and maintain an anion gradient, presumably through cotransport by means of a proton-pumping ATPase

Topics: Research Article
Year: 1988
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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