Exploring arterial smooth muscle Kv7 potassium channel function using patch clamp electrophysiology and pressure myography

Lioubov I. Brueggemann, Bharath K. Mani, Jennifer Haick, Kenneth L. Byron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Contraction or relaxation of smooth muscle cells within the walls of resistance arteries determines the artery diameter and thereby controls flow of blood through the vessel and contributes to systemic blood pressure. The contraction process is regulated primarily by cytosolic calcium concentration ([Ca 2+] cyt), which is in turn controlled by a variety of ion transporters and channels. Ion channels are common intermediates in signal transduction pathways activated by vasoactive hormones to effect vasoconstriction or vasodilation. And ion channels are often targeted by therapeutic agents either intentionally (e.g. calcium channel blockers used to induce vasodilation and lower blood pressure) or unintentionally (e.g. to induce unwanted cardiovascular side effects). Kv7 (KCNQ) voltage-activated potassium channels have recently been implicated as important physiological and therapeutic targets for regulation of smooth muscle contraction. To elucidate the specific roles of Kv7 channels in both physiological signal transduction and in the actions of therapeutic agents, we need to study how their activity is modulated at the cellular level as well as evaluate their contribution in the context of the intact artery. The rat mesenteric arteries provide a useful model system. The arteries can be easily dissected, cleaned of connective tissue, and used to prepare isolated arterial myocytes for patch clamp electrophysiology, or cannulated and pressurized for measurements of vasoconstrictor/vasodilator responses under relatively physiological conditions. Here we describe the methods used for both types of measurements and provide some examples of how the experimental design can be integrated to provide a clearer understanding of the roles of these ion channels in the regulation of vascular tone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number67
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 14 2012

Keywords

  • Anatomy
  • Electrophysiology
  • Issue 67
  • Kv channel
  • Medicine
  • Mesenteric artery
  • Molecular biology
  • Patch clamp
  • Physiology
  • Vascular smooth muscle
  • Vasoconstriction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)

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