29 July 2005
Estrogens have been demonstrated to rapidly modulate calcium levels in a variety of cell types. However, the significance of estrogen-mediated calcium flux in neuronal cells is largely unknown. The relative importance of intra- and extracellular sources of calcium in estrogenic effects on neurons is also not well understood. Previously, we have demonstrated that membrane-limited estrogens, such as E-BSA given before an administration of a 2-hour pulse of 17β-estradiol (E<sub>2</sub>), can potentiate the transcription mediated by E<sub>2</sub> from a consensus estrogen response element (ERE)-driven reporter gene. Inhibitors to signal transduction cascades given along with E-BSA or E<sub>2</sub> demonstrated that calcium flux is important for E-BSA-mediated potentiation of transcription in a transiently transfected neuroblastoma cell line. In this report, we have used inhibitors to different voltage-gated calcium channels (VGCCs) and to intracellular store receptors along with E-BSA in the first pulse or with E<sub>2</sub> in the second pulse to investigate the relative importance of these channels to estrogen-mediated transcription. Neither L- nor P-type VGCCs seem to play a role in estrogen action in these cells; while N-type VGCCs are important in both the non-genomic and genomic modes of estrogen action. Specific inhibitors also showed that the ryanodine receptor and the inositol trisphosphate receptor are important to E-BSA-mediated transcriptional potentiation. This report provides evidence that while intracellular stores of calcium are required to couple non-genomic actions of estrogen initiated at the membrane to transcription in the nucleus, extracellular sources of calcium are also important in both non-genomic and genomic actions of estrogens.