Research ArticlePhysiology

A PLCγ1-Dependent, Force-Sensitive Signaling Network in the Myogenic Constriction of Cerebral Arteries

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Science Signaling  27 May 2014:
Vol. 7, Issue 327, pp. ra49
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2004732

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Maintaining Blood Flow to the Brain

Cerebral arteries continually adjust to changes in blood pressure to ensure constant blood flow to the brain. In response to increased blood pressure, the smooth muscle cells in cerebral arteries contract, resulting in blood vessel constriction. This response requires two cell surface ion channels—TRPC6, a channel that is activated by the stretch caused by increased blood pressure, and TRPM4, a channel that triggers the electrical impulses necessary for blood vessel constriction. Gonzales et al. found that activation of TRPC6 stimulated TRPM4 through calcium-dependent pathways. TRPC6, TRPM4, and the enzyme PLCγ1 were located in close proximity to each other in smooth muscle cells, indicating that a pressure-sensitive signaling network keeps blood flowing in the brain.

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