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Paper Chase

Sodium and calcium action potential in pituitary cells.

Nature. May 12, 1977;267(5607):172-4.
Biales B, Dichter MA, Tischler A.

Department of Neurology and Pathology, beth Israel Hospital/Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02215, USA.


Several endocrine cells or their neoplastic derivatives generate action potentials similar to those seen in neurones, and in the adrenal chromaffin cell such regenerative potentials depend primarily on a sodium mechanism. Kidokoro has described action potentials in the GH3 rat pituitary cell line which seem to depend on a calcium mechanism. We have re-investigated the action potential in GH3 cells and found that it results from combined Na and Ca mechanisms in physiological conditions. In addition, we have recorded similar electrical excitability from two human pituitary tumours grown in vitro.