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Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2007 Apr;292(4):C1502-9. Epub 2006 Dec 27.

Intracellular cAMP: the "switch" that triggers on "spontaneous transient outward currents" generation in freshly isolated myocytes from thoracic aorta.

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  • 1Department of Zoology and Animal Biology, University of Geneva, Sciences III, Geneva, Switzerland.


Spontaneous transient outward currents (STOCs) have been reported in resistance and small arteries but have not yet been found in thoracic aorta. Do thoracic aorta myocytes possess cellular machinery that generates STOCs? It was found that the majority of aortic myocytes do not generate STOCs. STOCs were generated in 8.7% of freshly isolated aortic myocytes. Myocytes that did not generate STOCs we have called "silent" myocytes and myocytes with STOCs have been called "active." STOCs recorded in active myocytes were voltage dependent and were inhibited by ryanodine, caffeine, and charybdotoxin. Forskolin was reported to increase STOCs frequency in myocytes isolated from resistance arteries. Forskolin (10 microM) triggered STOCs generation in 35.1% of silent aortic myocytes. In 36.8% percent of silent myocytes, forskolin did not trigger STOCs but increased the amplitude of charybdotoxin-sensitive outward net current to 136.1 +/- 8.5% at 0 mV. Membrane-permeable 8BrcAMP triggered STOCs generation in 38.7% of silent myocytes. Forskolin- or 8BrcAMP-triggered STOCs were inhibited by charybdotoxin. 8BrcAMP also increased open probability of BK(Ca) channels in BAPTA-AM-pretreated cells. Our data demonstrate that, in contrast to resistance arteries, STOCs are present just in the minority of myocytes in the thoracic aorta. However, cellular machinery that generates STOCs can be "switched" on by cAMP. Such an inactive cellular mechanism could modulate the contractility of the thoracic aorta in response to physiological demand.

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