Ca2+, the intercellular signal in arterioles

July 4, 2017, University of Oxford

Vasoconstriction must be balanced with vasodilation, particularly in the arterioles that supply tissues with blood. Endothelial cells protrude through holes in the internal elastic lamina in arterioles to make contact with vascular smooth muscle cells.

Gap junctions are present at these sites where meet vascular . IP3 has been thought to be a signal that passes through these gap junctions to endothelial cells to mediate vasodilation.

However, Garland et al. showed that it was Ca2+, rather than IP3, that entered vascular smooth muscle cells through voltage-gated Ca2+ channels, subsequently passed through gap junctions into endothelial cells, and initiated vasodilation mediated by endothelial cells.

The magnitude of these Ca2+ signals in endothelial cells depended on IP3 receptors.

These results resolve a long-standing controversy over how cells communicate with endothelial cells to trigger feedback vasodilation.

The study results are published in Science Signaling.

Explore further: Epigenetic program leading to vessel differentiation

More information: "Voltage-dependent Ca2+ entry into smooth muscle during contraction promotes endothelium-mediated feedback vasodilation in arterioles," Science Signaling (2017). stke.sciencemag.org/lookup/doi … 26/scisignal.aal3806

Related Stories

Epigenetic program leading to vessel differentiation

May 19, 2017
Clarification of how human blood vessels are constructed is desperately needed to advance regenerative medicine. A collaborative research group from Kumamoto University, Kyoto University, and the University of Tokyo in Japan ...

Overcoming barriers in the quest to starve tumors of blood supply

July 13, 2016
One of the most exciting strategies researchers are pursuing for fighting cancer is to cut off the blood supply of cancerous cells. However, many initially-promising therapies have failed in part because tumor cells counteract ...

Research findings breathe new life into lung disease

October 24, 2012
It turns out the muscle cells on the outside of blood vessels have been wrongly accused for instigating lung disease. New research shows that while these muscle cells are responsible for constricting or dilating the blood ...

Human stem cell model reveals molecular cues critical to neurovascular unit formation

May 22, 2015
Crucial bodily functions we depend on but don't consciously think about—things like heart rate, blood flow, breathing and digestion—are regulated by the neurovascular unit. The neurovascular unit is made up of blood vessels ...

Recommended for you

Can stem cells help a diseased heart heal itself? Researchers achieve important milestone

December 14, 2018
A team of Rutgers scientists, including Leonard Lee and Shaohua Li, have taken an important step toward the goal of making diseased hearts heal themselves—a new model that would reduce the need for bypass surgery, heart ...

Your weight history may predict your heart failure risk

December 12, 2018
In a medical records analysis of information gathered on more than 6,000 people, Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers conclude that simply asking older adult patients about their weight history at ages 20 and 40 could provide ...

Higher risk of heart attack on Christmas Eve

December 12, 2018
The risk of heart attack peaks at around 10pm on Christmas Eve, particularly for older and sicker people, most likely due to heightened emotional stress, finds a Swedish study in this week's Christmas issue of The BMJ.

Age is the biggest risk for heart disease, but lifestyle and meds have impact

December 12, 2018
Of all the risk factors for heart disease, age is the strongest predictor of potential trouble.

New understanding of mysterious 'hereditary swelling'

December 12, 2018
For the first time ever, biomedical researchers from Aarhus University, Denmark, report cellular defects that lead to a rare disease, hereditary angioedema (HAE), in which patients experience recurrent episodes of swelling ...

Researchers have found that incidence of heart failure was around two-fold higher in people with diabetes

December 11, 2018
Researchers have found that incidence of heart failure was around two-fold higher in people with diabetes.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.