Signalling switches maintain intercellular communication in the vascular endothelium: endothelial Ca2+ waves driven by regenerative IP3-induced IP3 production

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Abstract

Background and Purpose: The single layer of cells lining all blood vessels, the endothelium, is a sophisticated signal co‐ordination centre that controls a wide range of vascular functions including the regulation of blood pressure and blood flow. To co‐ordinate activities, communication among cells is required for tissue level responses to emerge. While a significant form of communication occurs by the propagation of signals between cells, the mechanism of propagation in the intact endothelium is unresolved. Experimental Approach: Precision signal generation and targeted cellular manipulation was used in conjunction with high spatiotemporal mesoscale Ca2+ imaging in the endothelium of intact blood vessels. Key Results: Multiple mechanisms maintain communication so that Ca2+ wave propagation occurs irrespective of the status of connectivity among cells. Between adjoining cells, regenerative IP3‐induced IP3 production transmits Ca2+ signals and explains the propagated vasodilation that underlies the increased blood flow accompanying tissue activity. The inositide is itself sufficient to evoke regenerative phospholipase C‐dependent Ca2+ waves across coupled cells. None of gap junctions, Ca2+ diffusion or the release of extracellular messengers is required to support this type of intercellular Ca2+ signalling. In contrast, when discontinuities exist between cells, ATP released as a diffusible extracellular messenger transmits Ca2+ signals across the discontinuity and drives propagated vasodilation. Conclusion and Implications: These results show that signalling switches underlie endothelial cell‐to‐cell signal transmission and reveal how communication is maintained in the face of endothelial damage. The findings provide a new framework for understanding wave propagation and cell signalling in the endothelium.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages23
JournalBritish Journal of Pharmacology
Early online date23 Apr 2024
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 Apr 2024

Keywords

  • blood vessels
  • calcium signaling
  • endothelium
  • vascular tone
  • cell communication
  • calcium waveds

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