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Ca2+ is an important intracellular second messenger in signal transduction of endothelial cells. It has long been recognized that a mechanosensitive Ca2+-permeable channel is present in vascular endothelial cells. The activity of this channel may increase intracellular Ca2+ level in endothelial cells. A recent finding is that the activity of this channel may be regulated by cGMP through a protein kinase G-dependent pathway. Inhibition of the channel by cGMP abolishes the Ca2+ influx elicited by flow. Several inhibitors of the cation channel including Gd3+, Ni2+, and SK&F-96365 also inhibit the Ca2+ influx due to flow stimulation. These data suggest that a mechanosensitive cation channel is the primary pathway mediating the flow-induced Ca2+ entry in vascular endothelial cells. Another important finding is that the opening of this mechanosensitive channel by KT5823 leads to endothelium-dependent vascular dilation. Therefore, it appears that this channel may play a crucial role in the regulation of vascular tone.

Type

Journal article

Journal

Biorheology

Publication Date

2003

Volume

40

Pages

23 - 30

Keywords

Animals, Calcium Channels, Endothelium, Vascular, Mechanotransduction, Cellular, Signal Transduction, Stress, Mechanical, Vasodilation