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BioMed Research International
Volume 2019, Article ID 8647121, 16 pages
Research Article

Calcium Oscillatory Behavior and Its Possible Role during Wound Healing in Bovine Corneal Endothelial Cells in Culture

1Departamento de Bioquímica, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de la República, Gral. Flores 2125, 11800 Montevideo, Uruguay
2Sección Biofísica, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de la República, Iguá s/n esq. Mataojo, 11400 Montevideo, Uruguay

Correspondence should be addressed to Julio A. Hernandez; yu.ude.neicf@nrehaj

Received 22 August 2018; Revised 29 January 2019; Accepted 6 February 2019; Published 21 February 2019

Academic Editor: Hannes Stockinger

Copyright © 2019 Cristian Justet et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In epithelial layers in culture, immediately after an injury a fast calcium wave (FCW) propagates from the wound borders toward the rest of the monolayer. We show here that similarly to other tissues, during the FCW in bovine corneal endothelial (BCE) cells in culture many cells exhibit calcium oscillations mediated by IP3 signaling. In this study we perform a detailed characterization of this oscillatory behavior and explore its possible role in the process of wound healing. In previous work we showed that, in BCE cells in culture, the healing cells undergo two stages of caspase-dependent apoptosis, at approximately two and eight hours after wounding. We determined that inhibition of the FCW greatly increases the apoptotic rate of the two stages, suggesting that the wave prevents excessive apoptosis of the healing cells. Taking this into account, we investigated the possible participation of the calcium oscillations during the FCW in apoptosis of the healing cells. For this, we employed ARL-67156 (ARL), a weak competitive inhibitor of ecto-ATPases, and the calcium chelator EGTA. We show here that, in healing BCE cells, ARL enhances cellular calcium oscillations during the FCW, while EGTA decreases oscillations. We found that ARL produces a significant decrease (to about half the control value) in the apoptotic index of the first stage of apoptosis, while EGTA increases it. Neither drug noticeably affects the second stage. We have interpreted the effect of ARL on apoptosis as due to the maintenance of moderately risen ATP levels during the FCW, which is in turn the cause for the enhancement of ATP-dependent calcium oscillations. Correspondingly, EGTA would increase the apoptotic index of the first stage by promoting a decrease in the calcium oscillatory rate. The fact that the second stage of apoptosis is not affected by the drugs suggests that the two stages are at least partially subject to different signaling pathways.