Calcium entry through receptor-operated channels in bovine pulmonary artery endothelial cells
The activation of endothelial cells by endothelium-dependent vasodilators has been investigated using bioassay, patch clamp and 45Ca flux methods. Cultured pulmonary artery endothelial cells have been demonstrated to release EDRF in response to thrombin, bradykinin, ATP and the calcium ionophore A23187. The resting membrane potential of the endothelial cells was -56 mV and the cells were depolarized by increasing extracellular K+ or by the addition of (0.1-1.0 mM) Ba2+ to the bathing solution. The electrophysiological properties of the cultured endothelial cells suggest that the membrane potential is maintained by an inward rectifying K+ channel with a mean single channel conductance of 35.6 pS. The absence of a depolarizationactivated inward current and the reduction of 45Ca influx with high K+ solution suggests that there are no functional voltage-dependent calcium or sodium channels. Thrombin and bradykinin were shown to evoke not only an inward current (carried by Na+ and Ca2+) but also an increase in 45Ca influx suggesting that the increase in intracellular calcium necessary for EDRF release is mediated by an opening of a receptor operated channel. High doses of thrombin and bradykinin induced intracellular calcium release, however, at low doses of thrombin no intracelluar calcium release was observed. We propose that the increased cytosolic calcium concentration in endothelial cells induced by endothelium dependent vasodilators is due to the influx of Ca2+ through a receptor operated ion channel and to a lesser degree to intracellular release of calcium from a yet undefined intracellular store. 1987.