From Transmitter Release to Contraction of Renal Vasculature
Voltage-gated calcium channels are important for the depolarization-evoked contraction of vascular smooth muscle cells (SMCs), with L-type channels being the classical channel involved in this mechanism. However, it has been demonstrated that the CaV2.1 subunit, which encodes a neuronal isoform of the voltage-gated calcium channels (P/Q-type), is also expressed and contributes functionally to contraction of renal blood vessels in both mice and humans. Furthermore, preglomerular vascular SMCs and aortic SMCs coexpress L-, P-, and Q-type calcium channels within the same cell. Calcium channel blockers are widely used as pharmacological treatments. However, calcium channel antagonists vary in their selectivity for the various calcium channel subtypes, and the functional contribution from P/Q-type channels as compared with L-type should be considered. Confirming the presence of P/Q-type voltage-gated calcium channels in other types of vascular SMCs could be important when investigating phenomena such as hypertension, migraine, and other diseases known to involve SMCs and voltage-gated calcium channels. The purpose of this review was to give a short overview of the possible roles of P/Q-type calcium channels within the vascular system with special focus on the renal vasculature.
Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology, 2015, Vol 65, Issue 5, p. 406-11