We studied the role of connexin hemichannels in the release of ATP by neonatal cardiac myocytes subject to ischaemic stress. Mechanical, osmotic and oxidative stress and changes in extracellular or intracellular Ca2+ levels induce connexin hemichannels located in the plasma membrane to open and release small ions and molecules with signaling potential such as ATP. Since ATP release has been implicated in adaptation to oxygen deprivation, we studied its release by cardiac myocytes incubated in a custom-built hypoxia chamber for various periods. In a simulated ischaemia model (0.5% oxygen and 0.2 g/l glucose) a peak of ATP release occurred at 80 min followed by a return to steady state levels for a further 200 min.
- ischaemic stress