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Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2010 Mar;51(3):1591-8. doi: 10.1167/iovs.09-4401. Epub 2009 Dec 3.

cAMP/PKA-dependent increases in Ca Sparks, oscillations and SR Ca stores in retinal arteriolar myocytes after exposure to vasopressin.

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Centre for Vision and Vascular Science, Queen's University of Belfast, Institute of Clinical Sciences, The Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom.



To investigate the effects of arginine vasopressin (AVP) on Ca(2+) sparks and oscillations and on sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) Ca(2+) content in retinal arteriolar myocytes.


Fluo-4-loaded smooth muscle in intact segments of freshly isolated porcine retinal arteriole was imaged by confocal laser microscopy. SR Ca(2+) store content was assessed by recording caffeine-induced Ca(2+) transients with microfluorimetry and fura-2.


The frequencies of Ca(2+) sparks and oscillations were increased both during exposure to, and 10 minutes after washout of AVP (10 nM). Caffeine transients were increased in amplitude 10 and 90 minutes after a 3-minute application of AVP. Both AVP-induced Ca(2+) transients and the enhancement of caffeine responses after AVP washout were inhibited by SR 49059, a V(1a) receptor blocker. Forskolin, an activator of adenylyl cyclase, also persistently enhanced caffeine transients. Rp-8-HA-cAMPS, a membrane-permeant PKA inhibitor, prevented enhancement of caffeine transients by both AVP and forskolin. Forskolin, but not AVP, produced a reversible, Rp-8-HA-cAMPS insensitive reduction in basal [Ca(2+)](i).


AVP activates a cAMP/PKA-dependent pathway via V(1a) receptors in retinal arteriolar smooth muscle. This effect persistently increases SR Ca(2+) loading, upregulating Ca(2+) sparks and oscillations, and may favor prolonged agonist activity despite receptor desensitization.

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