Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract We studied stimulus-specific alterations of the excitation-contraction coupling pathway in freshly isolated contractile and subcultured non-contractile vascular smooth muscle cells. Using the calcium indicator aequorin, we detected physiological increases in cytoplasmic free calcium ([Ca2+]i) in subcultured smooth muscle cells subjected to angiotensin or 33 mM potassium depolarization. These increases were qualitatively identical to those previously measured in intact vascular strips. Platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) induced a slow, sustained [Ca2+]i increase when applied to the subcultured smooth muscle cells at low picomolar concentrations. Freshly isolated, contractile vascular smooth muscle cells, prepared by a novel technique, exhibited a slow shortening of 20% of resting length in response to PDGF. PDGF also markedly potentiated smooth muscle cell shortening in response to an ED50 dose of phenylephrine. This effect was PDGF concentration dependent. The time course of shortening induced by PDGF alone was consistent with the time course of the PDGF-induced [Ca2+]i increase in the cultured smooth muscle cells. These data suggest that agonists which induce [Ca2+]i changes in contractile smooth muscle cells may retain this ability with respect to cultured smooth muscle cells. PDGF, a peptide mitogen for proliferative smooth muscle cells, may also serve to modulate vascular tone by modestly raising [Ca2+]i in contractile smooth muscle cell and, therefore, sensitizing the cells to alpha adrenergic agonists.
Type of Medium: