Role of Calcium in Oxidative Cell Injury

  • Sten Orrenius
  • David J. McConkey
  • Pierluigi Nicotera
Part of the GWUMC Department of Biochemistry Annual Spring Symposia book series (GWUN)


Tissue necrosis has long been known to be associated with the accumulation of large amounts of calcium in the necrotic tissue, and it has been proposed that the calcium ion may play a critical role in the development of lethal alterations of cell structure and function (Campbell, 1983). Although the generality of this hypothesis has been questioned (Starkeet al., 1986), the involvement of Ca2+ in the development of lethal cell injury is now supported by a large number of observations. For example, Shanne and associates (1979) found that removal of extracellular Ca2+ exerted a protective effect against the toxicity of a number of agents in cultured hepatocytes. This and similar observations led to the proposal that an influx of extracellular Ca2+ could play a predominant role in the development of irreversible cell damage (Chienet al., 1979; Farber, 1981). However, subsequent studies showed that an influx of extracellular Ca2+ is not necessarily required for cytotoxicity and that a disruption of intracellular Ca2+ homeostasis may also result in irreversible cell damage.


Pyridine Nucleotide Protein Thiol Endonuclease Activity Calcium Ionophore A23187 Bleb Formation 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sten Orrenius
    • 1
  • David J. McConkey
    • 1
  • Pierluigi Nicotera
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ToxicologyKarolinska InstitutetStockholmSweden

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