Research ArticleVASCULAR BIOLOGY

Pressure-induced oxidative activation of PKG enables vasoregulation by Ca2+ sparks and BK channels

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Science Signaling  11 Oct 2016:
Vol. 9, Issue 449, pp. ra100
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.aaf6625

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Dilating constricted resistance arteries

Small-diameter arteries called resistance arteries link the main arteries to capillary beds that feed tissues and organs. Resistance arteries may generate high blood pressure (hypertension) if they become persistently constricted. Khavandi et al. (see also Hill and Braun) found that constriction of resistance arteries triggered a signaling pathway that induced their dilation. Constriction stimulated the production of reactive oxygen species, which then oxidized and stimulated the kinase PKG. PKG triggered the generation of calcium sparks, which are short-lived, local increases in calcium. Calcium sparks activated a potassium channel that induces vasodilation. Thus, constriction of resistance arteries initiates a signal to ensure that these blood vessels return to a more dilated state.

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