Alterations of intracellular calcium in human non-pigmented ciliary epithelial cells of the eye

Catherine H. Lee, Terry D. Reisine, Martin B. Wax

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


The ciliary epithelium of the eye is thought to be responsible for the active production of aqueous humor. The role of hormones and neuropeptides in mediating this process is unclear. Alterations in intracellular calcium in response to several hormones were assayed by fluorometric detection utilizing Quin2 in human SV-40 transformed non-pigmented ciliary epithelial cells grown in monolayer culture. A dose-dependent increase in intracellular calcium was found for the following drugs, which are given with their respective EC50 values: carbachol (15·7±4 μm), ATP (1·67±0·4 μm), arginine vasopressin (52±14 nm), bradykinin (2·4±0·7 nm), histamine (0·7±0·1 μm), and angiotensin II (6·4±1 nm). The following increases in calcium levels above typical resting levels of 45·9±4·6 nm were observed: 30% (0·1 μm angiotensin II). 50% (0·1 μm bradykinin, 2 μm arginine vasopressin), 100% (10 μm histamine), and 150% (1 mm carbachol, 10 μm ATP). Dopamine, KCl, phorbol esters, propranolol, epinephrine, and norepinephrine failed to increase intracellular calcium levels. The mobilization of intracellular calcium was unaffected by changes in the pH of the extracellular medium (over the pH range of 7·6 to 6·9) induced by glacial acetic, sulfuric or hydrochloric acids. Phosphatidic acid, however, did cause an elevation in intracellular calcium and is consistent with its putative role as an ionophore in other non-excitable exocrine tissues. These studies suggest a role for the hormonally induced mobilization of intracellular calcium which may underlie the secretion of aqueous humor by these cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)733-743
Number of pages11
JournalExperimental Eye Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1989


  • adenosine triphosphate
  • angiotensin II
  • bradykinin
  • carbachol
  • histamine
  • human non-pigmented ciliary epithelial cells
  • intracellular calcium
  • phosphatidic acid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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