Role of calcium in the activation of endothelial cells
The involvement of calcium in the release of EDRF from cultured endothelial cells is reviewed. It is suggested that both intracellular and extracellular calcium can release EDRF depending not only on the experimental conditions but also on the agonist involved in the release. Calcium enters the cell, following receptor occupation, through a nonselective receptor-operated channel. Intracellular release of calcium following receptor occupation is probably via the production of inositol trisphosphate (IP3). It is suggested that the initial calcium signal for the release of endothelium-derived relaxant factor (EDRF) is of intracellular origin whereas the maintained release of EDRF is due to calcium entry from the extracellular space.