Changes in coronary endothelial cell Ca2+ concentration during shear stress- and agonist-induced vasodilation. Academic Article uri icon


  • Increases in intraluminal shear stress are thought to cause vasodilation of coronary arterioles by activation of Ca2+-dependent endothelial nitric oxide synthase followed by release of nitric oxide. We tested the hypothesis that endothelium-dependent vasodilation of isolated coronary arterioles to shear stress and agonists is necessarily preceded by an increase in endothelial cell Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i). After selective loading of endothelium in isolated rabbit coronary arterioles with fura 2, simultaneous changes in diameter and [Ca2+]i were recorded. Vasodilations recorded in response to ACh, substance P, or shear stress were accompanied by significant increases in endothelial cell [Ca2+]i. Vasodilations to shear stress were accompanied by smaller changes in endothelial cell [Ca2+]i than equivalent dilations evoked by substance P or ACh. To test the role for Ca2+ as an activator of endothelial nitric oxide synthase, the endothelium was treated with the Ca2+ chelator 1,2-bis(2-aminophenoxy)ethane-N,N,N', N'-tetraacetic acid. 1,2-Bis(2-aminophenoxy)ethane-N,N,N', N'-tetraacetic acid eliminated significant changes in endothelial cell [Ca2+]i and inhibited dilations to ACh and substance P but did not significantly affect shear stress-induced vasodilation. The data indicate that endothelium-dependent vasodilation of coronary arterioles in response to agonists and shear stress is mediated in part through a rise in endothelial cell [Ca2+]i but that a substantial component of the shear stress-induced response occurs through a Ca2+-insensitive pathway.

published proceedings

  • Am J Physiol

author list (cited authors)

  • Muller, J. M., Davis, M. J., Kuo, L., & Chilian, W. M.

citation count

  • 66

complete list of authors

  • Muller, JM||Davis, MJ||Kuo, L||Chilian, WM

publication date

  • May 1999