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Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2008 Sep;295(3):C779-90. doi: 10.1152/ajpcell.00173.2008. Epub 2008 Jul 2.

Ca2+ handling is altered when arterial myocytes progress from a contractile to a proliferative phenotype in culture.

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  • 1Department of Physiology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21201, USA.


Phenotypic modulation of vascular myocytes is important for vascular development and adaptation. A characteristic feature of this process is alteration in intracellular Ca(2+) handling, which is not completely understood. We studied mechanisms involved in functional changes of inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP(3))- and ryanodine (Ry)-sensitive Ca(2+) stores, store-operated Ca(2+) entry (SOCE), and receptor-operated Ca(2+) entry (ROCE) associated with arterial myocyte modulation from a contractile to a proliferative phenotype in culture. Proliferating, cultured myocytes from rat mesenteric artery have elevated resting cytosolic Ca(2+) levels and increased IP(3)-sensitive Ca(2+) store content. ATP- and cyclopiazonic acid [CPA; a sarco(endo)plasmic reticulum Ca(2+)-ATPase (SERCA) inhibitor]-induced Ca(2+) transients in Ca(2+)-free medium are significantly larger in proliferating arterial smooth muscle cells (ASMCs) than in freshly dissociated myocytes, whereas caffeine (Caf)-induced Ca(2+) release is much smaller. Moreover, the Caf/Ry-sensitive store gradually loses sensitivity to Caf activation during cell culture. These changes can be explained by increased expression of all three IP(3) receptors and a switch from Ry receptor type II to type III expression during proliferation. SOCE, activated by depletion of the IP(3)/CPA-sensitive store, is greatly increased in proliferating ASMCs. Augmented SOCE and ROCE (activated by the diacylglycerol analog 1-oleoyl-2-acetyl-sn-glycerol) in proliferating myocytes can be attributed to upregulated expression of, respectively, transient receptor potential proteins TRPC1/4/5 and TRPC3/6. Moreover, stromal interacting molecule 1 (STIM1) and Orai proteins are upregulated in proliferating cells. Increased expression of IP(3) receptors, SERCA2b, TRPCs, Orai(s), and STIM1 in proliferating ASMCs suggests that these proteins play a critical role in an altered Ca(2+) handling that occurs during vascular growth and remodeling.

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