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Current Topics in Pharmacology   Volumes    Volume 4 
Agonist-induced calcium oscillations in smooth muscle cells
Jean-Pierre Savineau, Christelle Guibert, Roger Marthan
Pages: 63 - 75
Number of pages: 13
Current Topics in Pharmacology
Volume 4 

Copyright © 1998 Research Trends. All rights reserved

In a variety of smooth muscle cells, agonists induce a complex variation of the cytoplasmic calcium concentration ([Ca2+]i-response). This response is composed of a series of cyclic increases in the ([Ca2+]I, so-called Ca-oscillations, the pattern of which depends on both the type of tissue and the agonist considered. In tonic smooth muscle (e.g. airways, pulmonary artery…), Ca-oscillations are mainly dependent on a cyclic release of intracellularly stored calcium via an inositol trisphosphate (IP3)-activated mechanism. The cyclic nature of Ca-release is in relation with the biphasic regulation of the IP3-receptor located at the sarcoplasmic reticulum by the ([Ca2+]I itself, on the one hand, and the functioning of sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca-pump, on the other hand. The role of Ca-oscillations in smooth muscle cell signaling is still a matter of debate. As a general rule, it is suggested that oscillations allow Ca2+ to function as a messenger while obviating the changes of sustained elevation of ([Ca2+]i. Oscillations may also contribute to a frequency-dependent control of the smooth muscle cell response. Finally, Ca-oscillations participate to the control of the smooth muscle cell membrane potential value via the activation of Ca-dependent membrane ionic currents such as the oscillatory Cl- current.
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