Sigma 1 receptor activation modifies intracellular calcium exchange in the G93AhSOD1 ALS model

Vedrana Tadić*, Ayse Malci, Nadine Goldhammer, Beatrice Stubendorff, Saikata Sengupta, Tino Prell, Silke Keiner, Jingyu Liu, Madlen Guenther, Christiane Frahm, Otto W. Witte, Julian Grosskreutz

*Corresponding author for this work
17 Citations (Scopus)


Aberrations in intracellular calcium (Ca2+) have been well established within amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a severe motor neuron disease. Intracellular Ca2+ concentration is controlled in part through the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) mitochondria Ca2+ cycle (ERMCC). The ER supplies Ca2+ to the mitochondria at close contacts between the two organelles, i.e. the mitochondria-associated ER membranes (MAMs). The Sigma 1 receptor (Sig1R) is enriched at MAMs, where it acts as an inter-organelle signaling modulator. However, its impact on intracellular Ca2+ at the cellular level remains to be thoroughly investigated. Here, we used cultured embryonic mice spinal neurons to investigate the influence of Sig1R activation on intracellular Ca2+ homeostasis in the presence of G93AhSOD1 (G93A), an established ALS-causing mutation. Sig1R expression was increased in G93A motor neurons relative to non-transgenic (nontg) controls. Furthermore, we demonstrated significantly reduced bradykinin-sensitive intracellular Ca2+ stores in G93A spinal neurons, which were normalized by the Sig1R agonist SA4503. Moreover, SA4503 accelerated cytosolic Ca2+ clearance following a) AMPAR activation by kainate and b) IP3R–mediated ER Ca2+ release following bradykinin stimulation in both genotypes. PRE-084 (another Sig1R agonist) did not exert any significant effects on cytosolic Ca2+. Both Sig1R expression and functionality were altered by the G93A mutation, indicating the centrality of Sig1R in ALS pathology. Here, we showed that intracellular Ca2+ shuttling can be manipulated by Sig1R activation, thus demonstrating the value of using the pharmacological manipulation of Sig1R to understand Ca2+ homeostasis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-118
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 17.09.2017
Externally publishedYes

Research Areas and Centers

  • Centers: Center for Neuromuscular Diseases


Dive into the research topics of 'Sigma 1 receptor activation modifies intracellular calcium exchange in the G93AhSOD1 ALS model'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this