Mechanically induced intracellular calcium waves in osteoblasts demonstrate calcium fingerprints in bone cell mechanotransduction

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An early response to mechanical stimulation of bone cells in vitro is an increase in intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca 2+] i). This study analyzed the [Ca 2+]i wave area, magnitude, duration, rise time, fall time, and time to onset in individual osteoblasts for two identical bouts of mechanical stimulation separated by a 30-min rest period. The area under the [Ca 2+]i wave increased in the second loading bout compared to the first. This suggests that rest periods may potentiate mechanically induced intracellular calcium signals. Furthermore, many of the [Ca 2+]i wave parameters were strongly, positively correlated between the two bouts of mechanical stimulation. For example, in individual primary osteoblasts, if a cell had a large [Ca 2+]i wave area in the first bout it was likely to have a large [Ca 2+]i wave area in the second bout (r 2 = 0.933). These findings support the idea that individual bone cells have "calcium fingerprints" (i.e., a unique [Ca 2+]i wave profile that is reproducible for repeated exposure to a given stimulus). © 2006 Springer-Verlag.

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Biomechanics and Modeling in Mechanobiology