Calcium waves along the cleavage furrows in cleavage-stage Xenopus embryos and its inhibition by heparin

Akira Muto, Shoen Kume, Takafumi Inoue, Hideyuki Okano, Katsuhiko Mikoshiba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Citations (Scopus)


Calcium signaling is known to be associated with cytokinesis; however, the detailed spatio-temporal pattern of calcium dynamics has remained unclear. We have studied changes of intracellular free calcium in cleavage- stage Xenopus embryos using fluorescent calcium indictor dyes, mainly Calcium Green-1. Cleavage formation was followed by calcium transients that localized to cleavage furrows and propagated along the furrows as calcium waves. The calcium transients at the cleavage furrows were observed at each cleavage furrow at least until blastula stage. The velocity of the calcium waves at the first cleavage furrow was ~3 μ/s, which was much slower than that associated with fertilization/egg activation. These calcium waves traveled only along the cleavage furrows and not in the direction orthogonal to the furrows. These observations imply that there exists an intracellular calcium releasing activity specifically associated with cleavage furrows. The calcium waves occurred in the absence of extracellular calcium and were inhibited in embryos injected with heparin, an inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (InsP3) receptor antagonist. These results suggest that InsP3 receptor mediated calcium mobilization plays an essential role in calcium wave formation at the cleavage furrows.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-190
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Cell Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1996 Oct
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Calcium waves along the cleavage furrows in cleavage-stage Xenopus embryos and its inhibition by heparin'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this