Mark T. Nelson

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This review examines the properties and roles of the four types of K+ channels that have been identified in the cell membrane of arterial smooth muscle cells. 1) Voltage-dependent K+ (KV) channels increase their activity with membrane depolarization and are important regulators of smooth muscle membrane potential in response to depolarizing stimuli. 2)(More)
Local increases in intracellular calcium ion concentration ([Ca2+]i) resulting from activation of the ryanodine-sensitive calcium-release channel in the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) of smooth muscle cause arterial dilation. Ryanodine-sensitive, spontaneous local increases in [Ca2+]i (Ca2+ sparks) from the SR were observed just under the surface membrane of(More)
2 Summary NAMD is a molecular dynamics program designed for high performance simulations of large biomolecular systems on parallel computers. An object-oriented design implemented using C++ facilitates the incorporation of new algorithms into the program. NAMD uses spatial decomposition coupled with a multithreaded, message-driven design which is shown to(More)
Small arteries exhibit tone, a partially contracted state that is an important determinant of blood pressure. In arterial smooth muscle cells, intracellular calcium paradoxically controls both contraction and relaxation. The mechanisms by which calcium can differentially regulate diverse physiological responses within a single cell remain unresolved.(More)
The mechanisms by which active neurons, via astrocytes, rapidly signal intracerebral arterioles to dilate remain obscure. Here we show that modest elevation of extracellular potassium (K+) activated inward rectifier K+ (Kir) channels and caused membrane potential hyperpolarization in smooth muscle cells (SMCs) of intracerebral arterioles and, in cortical(More)
Resistance arteries exist in a maintained contracted state from which they can dilate or constrict depending on need. In many cases, these arteries constrict to membrane depolarization and dilate to membrane hyperpolarization and Ca-channel blockers. We discuss recent information on the regulation of arterial smooth muscle voltage-dependent Ca channels by(More)
Local intracellular Ca(2+) transients, termed Ca(2+) sparks, are caused by the coordinated opening of a cluster of ryanodine-sensitive Ca(2+) release channels in the sarcoplasmic reticulum of smooth muscle cells. Ca(2+) sparks are activated by Ca(2+) entry through dihydropyridine-sensitive voltage-dependent Ca(2+) channels, although the precise mechanisms(More)
Neuronal activity is thought to communicate to arterioles in the brain through astrocytic calcium (Ca(2+)) signaling to cause local vasodilation. Paradoxically, this communication may cause vasoconstriction in some cases. Here, we show that, regardless of the mechanism by which astrocytic endfoot Ca(2+) was elevated, modest increases in Ca(2+) induced(More)
Guanosine-3',5'-cyclic monophosphate (cGMP)-dependent protein kinase (cGMP-PK) plays a central role in the mediation of the vasodilator response to nitric oxide (NO) and other nitrovasodilators. It is unclear whether cGMP-PK affects calcium-activated potassium channels (KCa channels) or any other type of ion channel in smooth muscle. We provide here the(More)
Major features of the transcellular signaling mechanism responsible for endothelium-dependent regulation of vascular smooth muscle tone are unresolved. We identified local calcium (Ca(2+)) signals ("sparklets") in the vascular endothelium of resistance arteries that represent Ca(2+) influx through single TRPV4 cation channels. Gating of individual TRPV4(More)