Estimation of the sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ release flux underlying Ca2+ sparks

Christian Soeller, Mark B Cannell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

65 Citations (Scopus)


Using a combination of experimental and numerical approaches, we have tested two different approaches to calculating the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) Ca2+ release flux, which gives rise to cardiac muscle Ca2+ sparks. By using two-photon excited spot photolysis of DM-Nitrophen, known Ca2+ release flux time courses were generated to provide the first experimental validation of spark flux reconstruction algorithms. These artificial Ca2+ sparks show that it is possible to calculate the SR Ca2+ release waveform with reasonable accuracy, provided the flux equations reasonably reflect the properties of the experimental system. Within cardiac muscle cells, we show that Ca2+ flux reconstruction is complicated by the substantial dye binding to proteins, a factor that has not been adequately addressed in previous flux reconstruction algorithms. Furthermore, our numerical experiments suggest that the calculated time course of release flux inactivation based on conventional flux reconstruction algorithms is likely to be in error. We therefore developed novel algorithms based on an explicit dye binding scheme. When these algorithm were applied to evoked Ca2+ sparks in rat cardiac ventricular myocytes, the reconstructed Ca2+ release waveform peaked in ~5 ms and decayed with a halftime of approximately 5 ms. The peak flux magnitude was 7-12 pA, suggesting that sparks must arise from clusters of >15 ryanodine receptors.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2396-2414
Number of pages19
JournalBiophysical Journal
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2002


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