Oxidation by thimerosal increases calcium levels in renal tubular cells

Chung Ren Jan, Bang Ping Jiann, Yih Chau Lu, Hong Tai Chang, Chia Cheng Yu, Wei Chung Chen, Jong Khing Huang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

7 Scopus citations


The effect of thimerosal, a reactive oxidant, on cytoplasmic free Ca 2+ concentrations ([Ca2+]i) in Madin Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cells was explored by using the Ca2+-sensitive dye fura-2. Thimerosal acted in a concentration-dependent manner with an EC 50 of 0.5 μM. The Ca2+ signal comprised a gradual rise and a sustained elevation. Removal of extracellular Ca2+ reduced 80% of the signal. In Ca2+-free medium, the [Ca2+] i rise induced by 1 μM thapsigargin (an endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ pump inhibitor) was completely inhibited by pretreatment with 5 μM thimerosal. The thimerosal (5 μM)-induced Ca2+ release was not changed by inhibition of phospholipase C with 2 μM U73122. Collectively, this study shows that thimerosal induced [Ca2+]i rises in renal tubular cells via releasing store Ca2+ from the endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ stores in a manner independent of phospholipase C activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-127
Number of pages5
JournalPharmacology and Toxicology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 01 09 2003
Externally publishedYes


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