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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Increases in endothelial Ca(2+) activate K(Ca) channels and elicit EDHF-type arteriolar dilation via gap junctions.

In skeletal muscle arterioles, the pathway leading to non-nitric oxide (NO), non-prostaglandin-mediated endothelium-derived hyperpolarizing factor (EDHF)-type dilations is not well characterized. To elucidate some of the steps in this process, simultaneous changes in endothelial intracellular Ca(2+) concentration ([Ca(2+)](i)) and the diameter of rat gracilis muscle arterioles (approximately 60 microm) to acetylcholine (ACh) were measured by fura 2 microfluorimetry (in the absence of NO and prostaglandins). ACh elicited rapid increases in endothelial [Ca(2+)](i) (101 +/- 7%), followed by substantial dilations (73 +/- 2%, coupling time: 1.3 +/- 0.2 s) that were prevented by endothelial loading of an intracellular Ca(2+) chelator [1,2-bis(2-aminophenoxy)ethane-N,N,N',N'-tetraacetic acid]. Arteriolar dilations to ACh were also inhibited by intraluminal administration of the Ca(2+)-activated K(+) (K(Ca)) channel blockers charybdotoxin plus apamin or by palmitoleic acid, an uncoupler of myoendothelial gap junctions without affecting changes in endothelial [Ca(2+)](i). The presence of large conductance K(Ca) channels on arteriolar endothelial cells was demonstrated with immunohistochemisty. We propose that in skeletal muscle arterioles, EDHF-type mediation is evoked by an increase in endothelial [Ca(2+)](i), which by activating endothelial K(Ca) channels elicits hyperpolarization that is conducted via myoendothelial gap junctions to the smooth muscle resulting in decreases in [Ca(2+)](i) and consequently dilation.[1]


  1. Increases in endothelial Ca(2+) activate K(Ca) channels and elicit EDHF-type arteriolar dilation via gap junctions. Ungvari, Z., Csiszar, A., Koller, A. Am. J. Physiol. Heart Circ. Physiol. (2002) [Pubmed]
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