L-type voltage-gated Ca2+channels (VGCC) play an important role in dendritic development, neuronal survival, and synaptic plasticity. Recent studies have demonstrated that the gonadal steroid estrogen rapidly induces Ca2+ influx in hippocampal neurons, which is required for neuroprotection and potentiation of LTP. The mechanism by which estrogen rapidly induces this Ca2+ influx is not clearly understood. We show by electrophysiological studies that extremely low concentrations of estrogens acutely potentiate VGCC in hippocampal neurons, hippocampal slices, and HEK-293 cells transfected with neuronal L-type VGCC, in a manner that was estrogen receptor (ER)-independent. Equilibrium, competitive, and whole-cell binding assays indicate that estrogen directly interacts with the VGCC. Furthermore, a L-type VGCC antagonist to the dihydropyridine site displaced estrogen binding to neuronal membranes, and the effects of estrogen were markedly attenuated in a mutant, dihydropyridine-insensitive L-type VGCC, demonstrating a direct interaction of estrogens with L-type VGCC. Thus, estrogen-induced potentiation of calcium influx via L-type VGCC may link electrical events with rapid intracellular signaling seen with estrogen exposure leading to modulation of synaptic plasticity, neuroprotection, and memory formation.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - 30 Sep 2008|
- Estrogen receptors