Résumé : Kinetics of 45Ca outflow and human placental lactogen (hPL) release were characterized in human placental explants. Measurements of the rate of 45Ca and [3H]-sucrose (extracellular space marker) outflow from preloaded explants showed that, after a 40 min washout period, the 45Ca effluent radioactivity presumably originated from an intracellular compartment. This view was further supported by the La3+ and temperature sensitivity of the 45Ca outflow. Moreover, the addition of ionomycin as well as an increase in the extracellular Ca2+ or Ba2+ concentration provoked a dose-dependent rise in both the 45Ca outflow and hPL release. There were no systematic temporal analogies between the pattern of 45Ca outflow and hPL release. Taken together, these observations suggest that the stimulation of 45Ca outflow reflects an increased rate of 40Ca entry. The present data also extend previous observations indicating that hPL release can be stimulated by Ca2+ entry. Lastly, the 'in vitro' method described herein allows one to compare rapid changes in hPL release with associated ionic events and can be used to further document the relationships between placental secretory responses and cell calcium metabolism.