The effect of extracellular calcium (Ca2+) on the cellular action of arginine vasopressin (AVP) was examined using an Na+, K+-ATPase inhibitor in rat renal papillary collecting tubule cells in culture. The pretreatment of cells with ouabain enhanced basal and AVP-induced cAMP production in a dose-dependent manner. The augmentation by ouabain of cellular cAMP production in response to AVP was totally abolished by co-treatment with cobalt, lanthanum, verapamil or Ca2+-free medium containing 1 mmol EGTA/l, each blocking cellular Ca2+ uptake by different mechanisms. Two other findings indicated that ouabain directly stimulated cellular Ca2+ mobilization; namely, that ouabain significantly increased 45Ca2+ influx and cellular free Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i) determined by Fura-2 fluorescence. The ouabain-induced increase in [Ca2+]i was completely blocked by either cobalt or Ca2+-free medium containing 1 mmol EGTA/l. AVP at 0·1 μmol/l increased [Ca2+]i to 177·1 ±26·2 nmol/l from 92·2 ± 8·0 nmol/l (P<0·01) in renal papillary collecting tubule cells, and ouabain significantly enhanced the AVP-induced increase in [Ca2+]i. The increase of cellular free Ca2+ induced by ouabain probably binds to calmodulin to form an active complex of Ca2+-calmodulin in the cell, since two chemically dissimilar antagonists of calmodulin attenuated the enhancement by ouabain of cAMP production in response to AVP. These results therefore indicate that ouabain increases cellular Ca2+ uptake and enhances AVP-induced cellular free Ca2+ mobilization and its own second messenger cAMP production in renal papillary collecting tubule cells, and that extracellular Ca2+ is an important source for ouabain-mobilized cellular Ca2+.
Journal of Endocrinology (1989) 121, 467–477