Carbachol-stimulated Ca2+ increase in single neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells: effects of ethanol

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The effect of ethanol on the characteristics of carbachol-stimulated release of Ca2+ from intracellular Ca2+ stores was studied in single SH-SY5Y cells. Stimulation with carbachol, in the absence of extracellular Ca2+, elicited a rapid Ca2+ increase in SH-SY5Y cells peaking within seconds after addition of maximal agonist concentration. The Ca2+ response pattern in single cells resembled the population response, and there was no evidence of oscillatory changes in cytosolic [Ca2+] ([Ca2+]i). However, cell-to-cell variability could be detected in the magnitude and the latency time of the response, and in the rate of [Ca2+]i increase. In a carbachol dose-response analysis, the EC50 for the number of responsive cells and for the peak [Ca2+]i response was lower than that for carbachol-induced inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate formation by a factor of 5 to 50. Ethanol (100 mM) caused a significant suppression of the number of responsive cells, but only when cells were stimulated with nonsaturating carbachol concentrations (1 and 10 microM). The suppression by ethanol was evident primarily in those cells that gave a Ca2+ response after several seconds of stimulation, whereas cells that responded within the initial seconds of receptor stimulation remained relatively unaffected. In responding cells stimulated with 10 microM carbachol, ethanol exposure also suppressed the maximal Ca2+ increase primarily in those cells that responded late. We suggest that ethanol suppression of muscarinic receptor-mediated signal transduction through the phospholipase C pathway may depend on the potentiation of feedback inhibition that requires receptor stimulation.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Substance Abuse


  • Calcium, Ethanol, Phospholipase C, Muscarinic Receptor, Neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y Cells
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)637-645
JournalAlcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1998
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Tumour Cell Biology (013017530)