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Br J Pharmacol. 2003 Apr;138(7):1233-43.

Substance P modulates localized calcium transients and membrane current responses in murine colonic myocytes.

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Department of Physiology and Cell Biology, University of Nevada School of Medicine, Reno, NV 89557-0046, U.S.A.


1. Neurokinins contribute to the neural regulation of gastrointestinal (GI) smooth muscles. We studied responses of murine colonic smooth muscle cells to substance P (SP) and NK(1) and NK(2) agonists using confocal microscopy and the patch clamp technique. 2. Colonic myocytes generated localized Ca(2+) transients that were coupled to spontaneous transient outward currents (STOCs). SP (10(-10) M) increased Ca(2+) transients and STOCs. Higher concentrations of SP (10(-6) M) increased basal Ca(2+) and inhibited Ca(2+) transients and STOCs. 3. Effects of SP were due to increased Ca(2+) entry via L-type Ca(2+) channels, and were mediated by protein kinase C (PKC). Nifedipine (10(-6) M) and the PKC inhibitor, GF 109203X (10(-6) M) reduced L-type Ca(2+) current and blocked the effects of SP. 4. SP responses depended upon parallel stimulation of NK(1) and NK(2) receptors. NK(1) agonist ([Sar(9),Met(O(2))(11)]-substance P; SSP) and NK(2) agonists (neurokinin A (NKA) or GR-64349) did not mimic the effects of SP alone, but NK(1) and NK(2) agonists were effective when added in combination (10(-10)-10(-6) M). Consistent with this, either an NK(1)-specific antagonist (GR-82334; 10(-7) M) or an NK(2)-specific antagonist (MEN 10,627; 10(-7) M) blocked responses to SP (10(-6) M). 5. Ryanodine (10(-5) M) blocked the increase in Ca(2+) transients and STOCs in response to SP (10(-10) M). 6. Our findings show that low concentrations of SP, via PKC-dependent enhancement of L-type Ca(2+) current and recruitment of ryanodine receptors, stimulate Ca(2+) transients. At higher concentrations of SP (10(-6) M), basal Ca(2+) increases and spontaneous Ca(2+) transients and STOCs are inhibited.

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