Functional Importance of L- and P/Q-Type Voltage-Gated Calcium Channels in Human Renal Vasculature
Calcium channel blockers are widely used for treatment of hypertension, because they decrease peripheral vascular resistance through inhibition of voltage-gated calcium channels. Animal studies of renal vasculature have shown expression of several types of calcium channels that are involved in kidney function. It was hypothesized that human renal vascular excitation-contraction coupling involves different subtypes of channels. In human renal artery and dissected intrarenal blood vessels from nephrectomies, PCR analysis showed expression of L-type (Cav 1.2), P/Q-type (Cav 2.1), and T-type subtype (Cav 3.1 and Cav 3.2) voltage-gated calcium channels (Cavs), and quantitative PCR showed highest expression of L-type channels in renal arteries and variable expression between patients of subtypes of calcium channels in intrarenal vessels. Immunohistochemical labeling of kidney sections revealed signals for Cav 2.1 and Cav 3.1 associated with smooth muscle cells of preglomerular and postglomerular vessels. In human intrarenal arteries, depolarization with potassium induced a contraction inhibited by the L-type antagonist nifedipine, EC50 1.2×10−8 mol/L. The T-type antagonist mibefradil inhibited the potassium-induced constriction with large variations between patients. Interestingly, the P/Q-type antagonist, ω-agatoxin IVA, inhibited significantly the contraction with 24% at 10−9 mol/L. In conclusion L-, P/Q, and T-type channels are expressed in human renal blood vessels, and L- and P/Q-type channels are of functional importance for the depolarization-induced vasoconstriction. The contribution of P/Q-type channels to contraction in the human vasculature is a novel mechanism for the regulation of renal blood flow and suggests that clinical treatment with calcium blockers might affect vascular reactivity also through P/Q-type channel inhibition.
- Received February 1, 2011.
- Revision received February 16, 2011.
- Accepted June 28, 2011.
- © 2011 American Heart Association, Inc.