Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

The effects of hypercapnic acidosis and hypoxia on intracellular Ca(2+) concentration ([Ca(2+)](i)) were determined with Indo 1 in enzymatically isolated single type I cells from neonatal rat carotid bodies. Type I cells responded to graded hypoxic stimuli with graded [Ca(2+)](i) rises. The percentage of cells responding was also dependent on the severity of the hypoxic stimulus. Raising CO(2) from 5 to 10 or 20% elicited a significant increase in [Ca(2+)](i) in the same cells as those that responded to hypoxia. Thus both stimuli can be sensed by each individual cell. When combinations of hypoxic and acidic stimuli were given simultaneously, the responses were invariably greater than the response to either stimulus given alone. Indeed, in most cases, the response to hypercapnia was slightly potentiated by hypoxia. These data provide the first evidence that the classic synergy between hypoxic and hypercapnic stimuli observed in the intact carotid body may, in part, be an inherent property of the type I cell.

Original publication




Journal article


Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol

Publication Date





L36 - L42


Acidosis, Animals, Calcium, Calcium Signaling, Carotid Body, Chemoreceptor Cells, Hypercapnia, Hypoxia, Intracellular Membranes, Osmolar Concentration, Rats, Rats, Sprague-Dawley