Institut for Biomedicin

Christian Aalkjær

Mechanisms of Ca2+ sensitization of force production by noradrenaline in rat mesenteric small arteries

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  • Institut for Fysiologi og Biofysik
  • Farmakologisk Institut
1. Mechanisms of Ca2+ sensitization of force production by noradrenaline were investigated by measuring contractile responses, intracellular Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i) and phosphorylation of the myosin light chain (MLC) in intact and alpha-toxin-permeabilized rat mesenteric small arteries. 2. The effects of noradrenaline were investigated at constant membrane potential by comparing fully depolarized intact arteries in the absence and presence of noradrenaline. Contractile responses to K-PSS (125 mM K+) and NA-K-PSS (K-PSS + 10 microM noradrenaline) were titrated to 30 and 75%, respectively, of control force, by adjusting extracellular Ca2+ ([Ca2+]o). At both force levels, [Ca2+]i was substantially lower with NA-K-PSS than with K-PSS. With K-PSS, the proportion of MLC phosphorylated (approximately 30%) was similar at 30 and 75% of control force; with NA-K-PSS, MLC phosphorylation was greater at the higher force level (40 vs. 34%). 3. In alpha-toxin-permeabilized arteries, the force response to 1 microM Ca2+ was increased by 10 microM noradrenaline, and MLC phosphorylation was increased from 35 to 45%. The protein kinase C (PKC) inhibitor calphostin C (100 nM) abolished the noradrenaline-induced increase in MLC phosphorylation and contractile response, without affecting the contraction in response to Ca2+. Treatment with ATP gamma S in the presence of the MLC kinase inhibitor ML-9 increased the sensitivity to Ca2+ and abolished the response to noradrenaline. 4. The present results show that that in rat mesenteric small arteries noradrenaline-induced Ca2+ sensitization is associated with an increased proportion of phosphorylated MLC. The results are consistent with a decreased MLC phosphatase activity mediated through PKC. Furthermore, while MLC phosphorylation is a requirement for force production, the results show that other factors are also involved in force regulation.
TidsskriftJournal of Physiology
Vol/bind510 ( Pt 2)
Sider (fra-til)577-590
Antal sider14
StatusUdgivet - 15 jul. 1998

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