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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)
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)
Entry of Ca through voltage-dependent Ca channels is an important regulator of the function of smooth muscle, cardiac muscle, and neurons. Although Ca channels have been extensively studied since the first descriptions of Ca action potentials (P. Fatt and B. Katz. J. Physiol. Lond. 120: 171-204, 1953), the permeation rate of Ca through single Ca channels(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)
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)
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)
Calcium (Ca(2+)) release through inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptors (IP(3)Rs) regulates the function of virtually every mammalian cell. Unlike ryanodine receptors, which generate local Ca(2+) events ("sparks") that transmit signals to the juxtaposed cell membrane, a similar functional architecture has not been reported for IP(3)Rs. Here, we have(More)
Small conductance, calcium-activated potassium (SK) channels have an important role in determining the excitability and contractility of urinary bladder smooth muscle. Here, the role of the SK isoform SK3 was examined by altering expression levels of the SK3 gene using a mouse model that conditionally overexpresses SK3 channels (SK3T/T). Prominent SK3(More)
1. The regulation of intracellular [Ca2+] in the smooth muscle cells in the wall of small pressurized cerebral arteries (100-200 micron) of rat was studied using simultaneous digital fluorescence video imaging of arterial diameter and wall [Ca2+], combined with microelectrode measurements of arterial membrane potential. 2. Elevation of intravascular(More)