Twenty Years of Calcium Imaging: Cell Physiology to Dye For

  1. Harm J. Knot1,
  2. Ismail Laher2,
  3. Eric A. Sobie3,
  4. Silvia Guatimosim3,
  5. Leticia Gomez-Viquez3,
  6. Hali Hartmann3,
  7. Long-Sheng Song3,
  8. W.J. Lederer3,
  9. Wolfgang F. Graier4,
  10. Roland Malli4,
  11. Maud Frieden5 and
  12. Ole H. Petersen6
  1. 1Department of Pharmacology & Therapeutics and Division of Cardiology College of Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
  2. 2Department of Pharmacology and Therepeutics, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC
  3. 3Medical Biotechnology Center, University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute, Baltimore, MD
  4. 4Institue of Molecular Biology & Biochemistry, Medical University of Graz, Austria
  5. 5Department of Cell Physiology and Metabolism, University of Geneva Medical Center, Geneva, Switzerland
  6. 6The Physiological Laboratory, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK


The use of fluorescent dyes over the past two decades has led to a revolution in our understanding of calcium signaling. Given the ubiquitous role of Ca2+ in signal transduction at the most fundamental levels of molecular, cellular, and organismal biology, it has been challenging to understand how the specificity and versatility of Ca2+ signaling is accomplished. In excitable cells, the coordination of changing Ca2+ concentrations at global (cellular) and well-defined subcellular spaces through the course of membrane depolarization can now be conceptualized in the context of disease processes such as cardiac arrhythmogenesis. The spatial and temporal dimensions of Ca2+ signaling are similarly important in non-excitable cells, such as endothelial and epithelial cells, to regulate multiple signaling pathways that participate in organ homeostasis as well as cellular organization and essential secretory processes.


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