Sf Lepidopteran Cells

.. wing 0CaNRS were also calculated. They were determined by performing a linear regression on the linear portion (ranging from 20 – 50 seconds) of the decline following the maximum calcium concentration. It was found that the rates of calcium depletion(SYMBOL 68 f “GreekMathSymbols”C/SYMBOL 68 f “GreekMathSymbols”t) of BSG and SF-9 cells were 3.92 0.81 nM/s (mean S.E., n = 10) and 4.12 0.81 nM/s (n = 7) respectively. However, the BSG cells and the SF-9 cells were generally in different sizes in which the SF-9 cells (about 15-20 SYMBOL 109 f “Symbol”m in diameter) were usually smaller in sizes relative to the BSG cells (about 25-40 SYMBOL 109 f “Symbol”m in diameter).

It is therefore important to take into the account of the size of the cells for the analysis of the calcium flux. The calcium flux (J) out of the cell can be determined by adjusting the rates of calcium depletion with the volume to area ratio of the cells (assuming the cells were spherical in shape). The flux can be found by: J = -SYMBOL 68 f “GreekMathSymbols”C/SYMBOL 68 f “GreekMathSymbols”t V/S where J is the flux, -SYMBOL 68 f “GreekMathSymbols”C/SYMBOL 68 f “GreekMathSymbols”t is the rate of calcium depletion and V/S is the volume to surface area of the cell (V/S can be further simplified to r/3 where r is the radius of the cell). The calculated calcium efflux of the BSG cells and the SF9 cells were 2.02 0.44 fmolecm-2s-1 (n = 10) and 1.330.26 fmolecm-2s-1 (n = 7) respectively (table 1). There was no significant difference between the two efflux values (P = 0.2) shown by t-test. Similarly, the rates of calcium depletion of the BSG cells and the SF-9 cells following VO4NRS were 9.24 0.22nM/s (n=2) and 2.460.75nM/s (n=3) respectively.

The adjusted calcium efflux of the BSG cells and the SF-9 cells were 6.00 0.14 fmolecm-2s-1 (n = 2) and 0.80 0.24 fmolecm-2s-1 (n = 3) respectively (table 2). In addition, it was observed that SF-9 cells lost the ability to extrude the calcium after two to three cycles of VO4NRS applications (Figure 1). On the other hand, the BSG cells did not appear to lose their abilities to extrude the calcium after up to three to four VO4NRS applications (Figure. 2). Table 1 Rate of Calcium depletion of BSG and SF-9 cells after the addition of 0CaNRS BSG rate of calcium depletion (nMs-1)BSG calcium efflux (fmolecm-2s-1)SF-9 rate of calcium depletion (nMs-1)SF-9 calcium efflux (fmolecm-2s-1)2.231.014.671.510.540.244.1 01.334.361.983.191.038.583.897.742.51 5.882.675.551.801.285.812.010.655.282.4 01.560.507.024.552.221.442.271.47  Intracellular calcium concentration of a single sample cell was raised using 4-bromo-A23187 and was subsequently lowered by introducing 0CaNRS. These data represented the rates of decline (SYMBOL 68 f “GreekMathSymbols”C/SYMBOL 68 f “GreekMathSymbols”t) of the initial linear portion after the maximum calcium concentration. Table 2 Rate of Calcium depletion of BSG and SF-9 cells after the addition of VO4NRS BSG rate of calcium depletion (nMs-1)BSG calcium efflux (fmolecm-2s-1)SF-9 rate of calcium depletion (nMs-1)SF-9 calcium efflux (fmolecm-2s-1)9.025.851.050.349.476.143.5 91.162.740.89 Similar to Table 1 except VO4NRS was used instead of 0CaNRS to lower the calcium concentration.

 Figure 1. Intracellular calcium concentration of a SF-9 cell A time course calcium recording of a single SF-9 cell (19 SYMBOL 109 f “GreekMathSymbols”m) with the successive applications of 4-bromo-A23187, NRS, 0CaNRS and VO4NRS. It was noted that after 2 applications of VO4NRS, the cell was impaired in its ability to extrude calcium. Abbreviations: A, 4-bromo-A23187; N, NRS; 0, 0CaNRS; V, VO4NRS.  Figure 2.

Intracellular calcium concentration of a BSG cell In contrast to the SF-9 cell in Figure 1, the BSG cell (39 SYMBOL 109 f “GreekMathSymbols”m) still maintained its ability to extrude (or decrease) calcium after three applications of VO4NRS even at a high calcium concentration. Abbreviations: same as in Figure 1. DISCUSSION In the beginning of the experiment, both the transfected and non-transfected SF-9 cells were used although only non-transfected SF-9 cells were reported here. It was found that the transfected cells had unusual low calcium concentration (less than 20 nM, results are not included in this report). However, it was later found that the cells were not very successfully transfected. T-test did not show any significant difference between the calcium levels in the BSG cells and the SF-9 cells which leads to the question of whether the transfecting process would cause certain biophysiological changes in the cells which led to low intracellular calcium concentrations.

Moreover, it was learned during the experiment that it was not necessary to apply 4-bromo-A23187 every cycle to raise the calcium level. It was only necessary to apply once in the beginning of the experiment to raise the calcium concentration. NRS was then used to raise the calcium concentration in the subsequent cycles. This is probably due to the high lipidphilicity of the 4-bromo-A23187 which enable it to partition into the cell membrane and the internal organelles. Hence the one application of 4-bromo-A23187 would allow it to partition and remain in the cell membrane and acted as an ionophore without the necessity of further subsequent addition. The effects of the NRS at raising calcium concentration appeared to be similar to 4-bromo-A23187’s.

This technique was more economical and also reduced the effects of DMSO (which was used to dissolve 4-bromo-A23187) on the cells. A general discussion on of ionophores can be found in an article by Pressman (1976). A more specific topics of 4-bromo-A23187 on use with fluorescent probes and its action on calcium can be refered to Deber (1985) and Reed and Lardy (1972). The calcium efflux after VO4NRS for the BSG cells appeared to be greater than the SF-9 cells’ (see result section). But there were insufficient data to perform a reliable statistical test to prove such view.

Vanadate is referred to an active transport inhibitor. It acts as a phosphate substitute for ATP and thus stops or slows the ATP production. Without ATP, active transport cannot be carried out. In the case of calcium, the addition of VO4NRS would cause the cells not able to extrude the calcium out after the application of 4-bromo-A23187. It was indeed what was observed for the SF-9 cell (Figure 1).

It was noted that the calcium concentration remained at a high level and became unstable after 2 applications of VO4NRS. It suggested that the calcium mobilization in the SF-9 cells was closely linked to the ATP production. Without ATP, the SF-9 cells were unable to regulate their intracellular level in a normal manner. However, the BSG cells showed different responses to VO4NRS (Figure 2) compared to the SF-9 cells. After 3 applications of VO4NRS, the BSG cell was still able to extrude calcium, despite the abnormal high calcium concentration after the third VO4NRS application.

This result was not anticipated because the BSG cells had higher calcium effluxes relative to the SF-9 cells, hence calcium extrusion of the BSG cells were more dependent on the ATP production. One possible explanation would be that the BSG cells had excess organelles to store calcium instead of extruding it. Since the SF-9 cells are commonly used for gene expressions, it is important to know the basic biophysiology of these cells. However, there is still a lot unknown about these cells. By studying these cells in greater details, it will improve our understanding of the calcium transport system.

Also, it may be useful for the molecular biologists to improve the techniques of gene expressions using the SF-9 cells. Acknowledgments I thank Dr. S. M. Ross for his academic and technical supports throughout this study, and for kindly reading this manuscript.

Dr. P. S. Pennefather was invaluable in providing excellent advice during this study. I also thank B.

Clark for preparing the BSG culture dishes and Dr. D. R. Hampson for his kind gift of SF-9 cells. References Deber, C.

M.; Tom-Kun, J.; Mack, E.; Grinstein, S. Bromo-A23187: a nonfluorescent calcium ionophore for use with fluorescent probes. Anal. Biochem. 146(2):349-352;1985. Grynkiewicz, G.; Poenie, M.; Tsien, R.

Y. A new generation of Ca2+ indicator with greatly improved fluorescence properties. J. Biol. Chem. 260:3440-3450; 1985.

Kuffler, S. W.; Sejnowski, T. J. Peptidergic and muscarinic excitation at amphibian sympathetic synapses. J. Physiol.

341:257-278; 1983. Luckow, V. A.; Summers, M. D. Trends in the development of baculovirus expression vectors.

Biotechnology. 6:47-55; 1988. Pressman, B. C. Biological applications of ionophores. Ann.

Rev of Biochem. 45:501-530; 1976. Reed, P. W.; Lardy, H. A. A23187: A divalent cation ionophore. J.

Biol. Chem. 247:6970-7; 1972. Schwartz, J.-L.; Garneau, L.; Masson, L.; Brousseau, R. Early response of cultured lepidopteran cells to exposure to SYMBOL 100 f “GreekMathSymbols”-endotoxin from Bacillus thuringiensis: involvement of calcium and anionic channels. Biochem.

Biophys. Acta 1065:250-260; 1991. Summers, M. D.; Smith, G. E.

A manual of methods for baculovirus vectors and insect cell culture procedures. Texas Agric. Exper. Sta. Bull. no 1555; 1987.