By cross-linking membrane immunoglobulins (mIg), the antigenic stimulation of B lymphocytes induces an increase in intracellular free calcium levels ([Ca2+]i) because of a combination of release from intracellular stores and transmembrane influx. It has been suggested that both events are linked, as in a number of other cases of receptor-induced increase in [Ca2+]i. Conversely, in B lymphocytes, type II receptors for the Fc fragment of IgG (Fc gamma RII) inhibit mIg-mediated signaling. Thus, we have investigated at the level of single cells if these receptors could act on specific phases of mIg Ca2+ signaling. Lipopolysaccharide-activated murine B splenocytes and B lymphoma cells transfected with intact or truncated Fc gamma RII-cDNA were used to determine the domains of Fc gamma RII implicated in the inhibition of the Ca2+ signal. [Ca2+]i was measured in single fura-2-loaded cells by microfluorometry. The phases of release from intracellular stores and of transmembrane influx were discriminated by using manganese, which quenches fura-2, in the external medium as a tracer for bivalent cation entry. The role of membrane potential was studied by recording [Ca2+]i in cells voltage-clamped using the perforated patch-clamp method. Cross-linking of mIgM or mIgG with F(ab')2 fragments of anti-Ig antibodies induced a sustained rise in [Ca2+]i due to an extremely fast and transitory release of Ca2+ from intracellular stores and a long lasting transmembrane Ca2+ influx. The phase of influx, but not that of release, was inhibited by membrane depolarization. The increase in [Ca2+]i occurred after a delay inversely related to the dose of ligand. Co-cross-linking mIgs and Fc gamma RII with intact anti-Ig antibodies only triggered transitory release of Ca2+ from intracellular stores but no Ca2+ influx, even when the cell was voltage-clamped at negative membrane potentials. These transitory Ca2+ rises had similar amplitudes and delays to those induced by cross-linking mIgs alone. Thus, our data show that Fc gamma RII does not mediate an overall inhibition of mIg signaling but specifically affects transmembrane Ca2+ influx without affecting the release of Ca2+ from intracellular stores. Furthermore, this inhibition is not mediated by cell depolarization. Thus, Fc gamma RII represents a tool to dissociate physiologically the phases of release and transmembrane influx of Ca2+ triggered through antigen receptors.

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