Decreased calcium channel currents and facilitated epinephrine release in the Ca2+ channel β3 subunit-null mice

Toshio Ohta, Takayoshi Ohba, Takashi Suzuki, Hiroyuki Watanabe, Hironobu Sasano, Manabu Murakami

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


The β subunits of voltage-dependent calcium channels are known to modify calcium channel currents through pore-forming α1 subunits. The β3 subunit is expressed in the adrenal gland and participates in forming various calcium channel types. We performed a series of experiments in β3-null mice to determine the role of the β3 subunit in catecholamine release from the adrenal chromaffin system. Protein levels of N-type channel forming CaV2.2 and L-type forming CaV1.2 decreased. The β3-null mice showed a decreased baroreflex, suggesting decreased sympathetic tonus, whereas plasma catecholamine levels did not change. Pulse-voltage stimulation revealed significantly increased amperometrical currents in β3-null mice, while patch-clamp recordings showed a significant reduction in Ca2+-currents due to reduced L- and N-type currents, indicating facilitated exocytosis. A biochemical analysis revealed increased InsP3 production. In conclusion, our results indicate the importance of the β3 subunit in determining calcium channel characteristics and catecholamine release in adrenal chromaffin cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)464-469
Number of pages6
JournalBiochemical and biophysical research communications
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Apr 9


  • Beta subunit
  • Calcium channels
  • Catecholamine
  • Epinephrine
  • Mouse
  • Sympathetic tonus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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