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Agoston, Agnes; Kunz, Lars ORCID: 0000-0003-3141-0005; Krieger, Annette; Mayerhofer, Artur (2004): Two types of calcium channels in human ovarian endocrine cells: Involvement in steroidogenesis. In: Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, Vol. 89, No. 9: pp. 4503-4512
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Nature, regulation, and functional role of ion channels of human ovarian endocrine cells are not well known. In our present study, we show two types of voltage-activated Ca(2+) currents (I(Ca)) in cultured human luteinized granulosa cells (GCs), as assessed by whole-cell patch-clamp experiments. Electrophysiological properties, namely low threshold of activation, pronounced time-dependent inactivation, slow and voltage-dependent deactivation kinetics, insensitivity to SNX-482, and high sensitivity to Ni(2+), defined the predominant I(Ca) as a T-type Ca(2+) current (I(Ca.T)). In 4% of cells a Ni(2+)-insensitive I(Ca) was measured alone or together with I(Ca.T). This Ca(2+) current was high voltage activated and highly sensitive to dihydropyridine, indicative of an L-type Ca(2+) current. RT-PCR analysis demonstrated the presence of mRNA coding for alpha(1)-subunits of two different Ca(2+) channels (T-type Ca(v)3.2 and L-type Ca(v)1.2) in GCs. In addition, these two types were detected in the human corpus luteum by RT-PCR (Ca(v)3.2) and immunohistochemistry (Ca(v)1.2). Although stimulation of cultured GCs with human chorionic gonadotropin did not change the characteristics of recorded I(Ca.T), it markedly increased the percentage of cells displaying I(Ca) from 29 to 63% and significantly increased (2.2-fold) the density of I(Ca.T). Furthermore, the stimulatory effect of human chorionic gonadotropin on progesterone production was diminished by pharmacological blockage of I(Ca.T) by Ni(2+) or flunarizine. Thus, our study provides evidence that human GCs in vivo and in vitro express T- and L-type Ca(2+) channels and that the Ca(v)3.2 (also called alpha(1H)) isoform is involved in a fundamental endocrine function of these cells.