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Cell Calcium. 2007 Oct-Nov;42(4-5):513-20. Epub 2007 Jun 7.

Metabotropic Ca2+ channel-induced calcium release in vascular smooth muscle.

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  • 1Laboratorio de Investigaciones Biomédicas, Departamento de Fisiología and Hospital Universitario Virgen del Rocío, Universidad de Sevilla, E-41013 Seville, Spain.


Contraction of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) depends on the rise of cytosolic [Ca(2+)] owing to either Ca(2+) influx through voltage-gated Ca(2+) channels of the plasmalemma or to receptor-mediated Ca(2+) release from the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR). Although the ionotropic role of L-type Ca(2+) channels is well known, we review here data suggesting a new role of these channels in arterial myocytes. After sensing membrane depolarization Ca(2+) channels activate G proteins and the phospholipase C/inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (InsP(3)) pathway. Ca(2+) released through InsP(3)-dependent channels of the SR activates ryanodine receptors to amplify the cytosolic Ca(2+) signal, thus triggering arterial cerebral vasoconstriction in the absence of extracellular calcium influx. This metabotropic action of L-type Ca(2+) channels, denoted as calcium channel-induced Ca(2+) release, could have implications in cerebral vascular pharmacology and pathophysiology, because it can be suppressed by Ca(2+) channel antagonists and potentiated with small concentrations of extracellular vasoactive agents as ATP.

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