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In ureteric microvessels the antagonistic relationship between Ca(2+) signalling in endothelium and Ca(2+) oscillations in myocytes and pericytes of arterioles and venules involves nitric oxide (NO), but the underlying mechanisms are not well understood. In the present study we investigated the effects of carbachol and NO donor SNAP on Ca(2+) signalling and vasomotor responses of arterioles and venules in intact urteric microvascular network in situ using confocal microscopy. Vasomotor responses of arterioles and venules induced by AVP correlated with the occurrence of Ca(2+) oscillations in the myocytes and pericytes and were not abolished by the removal of Ca(2+) from extracellular fluid. Carbachol-induced rise of intracellular Ca(2+) in endothelium was accompanied by the termination of the Ca(2+) oscillations in myocytes and pericytes. This carbachol-induced inhibitory effect on Ca(2+) oscillations in myocytes and pericytes was reversed by ODQ, an inhibitor of soluble guanylyl cyclase (sGC) and by Rp-8-pCPT-cGMPS, an inhibitor of protein kinase G (PKG). Ca(2+) oscillations in myocytes and pericytes were also effectively blocked by NO donor SNAP. An Inhibitory effect of SNAP was markedly enhanced by zaprinast, a selective inhibitor of cGMP-specific phosphodiesterase-5, and reversed by sGC inhibitor, ODQ and PKG inhibitor, Rp-8-pCPT-cGMPS. The cGMP analogue and selective PKG activator 8pCPT-cGMP also induced inhibition of the AVP-induced Ca(2+) oscillations in myocytes and pericytes. SNAP had no effects on Ca(2+) oscillations induced by caffeine in distributing arcade arterioles. Consequently, we conclude that NO- mediated inhibition of Ca(2+) oscillations in myocytes and pericytes predominantly recruits the cGMP/PKG dependent pathway. The inhibitory effect of NO/cGMP/PKG cascade is associated with suppressed Ca(2+) release from the SR of myocytes and pericytes selectively via the inositol triphosphate receptor (IP3R) channels.

Original publication




Journal article


Cell Calcium

Publication Date





535 - 540


Ca(2+) signalling, Endothelium, Microvascular networks, Myocytes, Nitric oxide, PKG, Pericytes, cGMP, Animals, Arterioles, Calcium, Cyclic GMP, Cyclic GMP-Dependent Protein Kinases, Female, Male, Microvessels, Muscle Cells, Nitric Oxide, Nitric Oxide Donors, Pericytes, Rats, Wistar, Signal Transduction, Thionucleotides, Ureter