Analysis of free intracellular calcium by flow cytometry: multiparameter and pharmacologic applications.
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Flow cytometry offers numerous advantages over traditional techniques for measuring intracellular Ca(2+) in lymphoid and nonlymphoid cells. In particular, the heterogeneity of cell responses can be defined by flow cytometry, and multiparameter analyses permit the determination of intracellular Ca(2+) in surface-marker-defined target cells as well as correlation of changes in Ca(2+) with other biochemical markers, including ligand binding. This article presents several established methods for measuring intracellular Ca(2+) by flow cytometry in lymphoid and nonlymphoid cells. Examples are provided for determination of Ca(2+) in human peripheral blood leukocytes and two human epithelial cell lines grown in monolayer. In addition, applications are reviewed or presented for correlating changes in intracellular Ca(2+) with other cell parameters, including cell cycle analysis, changes in cell membrane integrity, and the induction of apoptosis markers. Finally, a number of novel sample handling capabilities useful for performing kinetic analyses of Ca(2+) changes by flow cytometry are now available and one application is presented which is finding utility in pharmacologic studies.Copyright 2000 Academic Press.