[Ca2+], not diacylglycerol, is the primary regulator of sustained swine arterial smooth muscle contraction.
Sustained smooth muscle contraction has been proposed to be regulated by either 1) sustained increases in intracellular Ca2+ concentration [(Ca2+]i)-dependent myosin phosphorylation or 2) diacylglycerol-dependent protein kinase C activation. We measured diacylglycerol mass with the diacylglycerol kinase assay and myoplasmic [Ca2+] with aequorin in swine carotid medial smooth muscle. Sustained and significant increases in [Ca2+], myosin light chain phosphorylation, and isometric stress were observed with histamine or endothelin stimulation. Neither stimuli, however, induced significant increases in diacylglycerol mass. Relaxation of histamine-stimulated tissues was induced by removal of histamine or removal of extracellular CaCl2 in the continued presence of histamine. The rate of decline of both [Ca2+] and force was similar in both protocols, suggesting that removal of Ca2+ (without removing the stimulus) was equivalent to removal of the stimulus. These data suggest that [Ca2+]i is the primary regulator of sustained swine arterial smooth muscle contraction, whereas diacylglycerol has, at most, only a minor role.
- Copyright © 1990 by American Heart Association