Enhanced L-type Ca2+ channel current density in coronary smooth muscle of exercise-trained pigs is compensated to limit myoplasmic free Ca2+ accumulation. Academic Article uri icon


  • We hypothesized that enhanced voltage-gated Ca2+ channel current (VGCC) density in coronary smooth muscle cells of exercise-trained miniature Yucatan pigs is compensated by other cellular Ca2+ regulatory mechanisms to limit net myoplasmic free Ca2+ accumulation. Whole-cell voltage clamp experiments demonstrated enhanced VGCC density in smooth muscle cells freshly dispersed from coronary arteries of exercise-trained vs. sedentary animals. In separate experiments using fura-2 microfluorometry, we measured depolarization-induced (80 mM KCl) accumulation of myoplasmic free Ba2+ and free Ca2+. Both maximal rate and net accumulation of free Ba2+ in response to membrane depolarization were increased in smooth muscle cells isolated from exercise-trained pigs, consistent with an increased VGCC density. Depolarization also produced an enhanced maximal rate of free Ca2+ accumulation in cells of exercise-trained pigs; however, net accumulation of free Ca2+ was not significantly increased suggesting enhanced Ca2+ influx was compensated to limit net free Ca2+ accumulation. Inhibition of sarco-endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+-transporting ATPase (SERCA; 10 microM cyclopiazonic acid) and/or sarcolemmal Na+-Ca2+ exchange (low extracellular Na+) suggested neither mechanism compensated the enhanced VGCC in cells of exercise-trained animals. Local Ca2+-dependent inactivation of VGCC, assessed by buffering myoplasmic Ca2+ with EGTA in the pipette and using Ca2+ and Ba2+ as charge carriers, was not different between cells of sedentary and exercise-trained animals. Our findings indicate that increased VGCC density is compensated by other cellular Ca2+ regulatory mechanisms to limit net myoplasmic free Ca2+ accumulation in smooth muscle cells of exercise-trained animals. Further, SERCA, Na+-Ca2+ exchange and local Ca2+-dependent inactivation of VGCC do not appear to function as compensatory mechanisms. Additional potential compensatory mechanisms include Ca2+ extrusion via plasma membrane Ca2+-ATPase, mitochondrial uptake, myoplasmic Ca2+-binding proteins and other sources of VGCC inactivation.

published proceedings

  • J Physiol

author list (cited authors)

  • Heaps, C. L., Bowles, D. K., Sturek, M., Laughlin, M. H., & Parker, J. L.

citation count

  • 31

complete list of authors

  • Heaps, CL||Bowles, DK||Sturek, M||Laughlin, MH||Parker, JL

publication date

  • November 2000