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J Gen Physiol. 2005 Jun;125(6):555-67.

The contraction of smooth muscle cells of intrapulmonary arterioles is determined by the frequency of Ca2+ oscillations induced by 5-HT and KCl.

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1
Department of Physiology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA 01655, USA.

Abstract

Increased resistance of the small blood vessels within the lungs is associated with pulmonary hypertension and results from a decrease in size induced by the contraction of their smooth muscle cells (SMCs). To study the mechanisms that regulate the contraction of intrapulmonary arteriole SMCs, the contractile and Ca(2+) responses of the arteriole SMCs to 5-hydroxytrypamine (5-HT) and KCl were observed with phase-contrast and scanning confocal microscopy in thin lung slices cut from mouse lungs stiffened with agarose and gelatin. 5-HT induced a concentration-dependent contraction of the arterioles. Increasing concentrations of extracellular KCl induced transient contractions in the SMCs and a reduction in the arteriole luminal size. 5-HT induced oscillations in [Ca(2+)](i) within the SMCs, and the frequency of these Ca(2+) oscillations was dependent on the agonist concentration and correlated with the extent of sustained arteriole contraction. By contrast, KCl induced Ca(2+) oscillations that occurred with low frequencies and were preceded by small, localized transient Ca(2+) events. The 5-HT-induced Ca(2+) oscillations and contractions occurred in the absence of extracellular Ca(2+) and were resistant to Ni(2+) and nifedipine but were abolished by caffeine. KCl-induced Ca(2+) oscillations and contractions were abolished by the absence of extracellular Ca(2+) and the presence of Ni(2+), nifedipine, and caffeine. Arteriole contraction was induced or abolished by a 5-HT(2)-specific agonist or antagonist, respectively. These results indicate that 5-HT, acting via 5-HT(2) receptors, induces arteriole contraction by initiating Ca(2+) oscillations and that KCl induces contraction via Ca(2+) transients resulting from the overfilling of internal Ca(2+) stores. We hypothesize that the magnitude of the sustained intrapulmonary SMC contraction is determined by the frequency of Ca(2+) oscillations and also by the relaxation rate of the SMC.

Comment in

PMID:
15928402
PMCID:
PMC2234075
DOI:
10.1085/jgp.200409217
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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