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Over the past decade, primary cilia have emerged as the premier means by which cells sense and transduce mechanical stimuli. Primary cilia are sensory organelles that have been shown to be vitally involved in the mechanosensation of urine in the renal nephron, bile in the hepatic biliary system, digestive fluid in the pancreatic duct, dentin in dental pulp, lacunocanalicular fluid in bone and cartilage, and blood in vasculature. The prevalence of primary cilia among mammalian cell types is matched by the tremendously varied disease states caused by both structural and functional defects in cilia. In the process of delineating the mechanisms behind these disease states, calcium fluorimetry has been widely utilized as a means of quantifying ciliary function to both fluid flow and pharmacological agents. In this review, we will discuss the approaches used in associating calcium levels to cilia function.


This article was originally published in Biosensors, volume 4, issue 1, in 2014. DOI: 10.3390/bios4010047

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