Hypoxia selectively upregulates cation channels and increases cytosolic [Ca2+] in pulmonary, but not coronary, arterial smooth muscle cells

Xi He, Shanshan Song, Ramon J. Ayon, Angela Balisterieri, Stephen M. Black, Ayako Makino, W. Gil Wier, Wei Jin Zang, Jason X.J. Yuan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Ca2+ signaling, particularly the mechanism via store-operated Ca2+ entry (SOCE) and receptor-operated Ca2+ entry (ROCE), plays a critical role in the development of acute hypoxiainduced pulmonary vasoconstriction and chronic hypoxia-induced pulmonary hypertension. This study aimed to test the hypothesis that chronic hypoxia differentially regulates the expression of proteins that mediate SOCE and ROCE [stromal interacting molecule (STIM), Orai, and canonical transient receptor potential channel TRPC6] in pulmonary (PASMC) and coronary (CASMC) artery smooth muscle cells. The resting cytosolic [Ca2+] ([Ca2+]cyt) and the stored [Ca2+] in the sarcoplasmic reticulum were not different in CASMC and PASMC. Seahorse measurement showed a similar level of mitochondrial bioenergetics (basal respiration and ATP production) between CASMC and PASMC. Glycolysis was significantly higher in PASMC than in CASMC. The amplitudes of cyclopiazonic acid-induced SOCE and OAG-induced ROCE in CASMC are slightly, but significantly, greater than in PASMC. The frequency and the area under the curve of Ca2+ oscillations induced by ATP and histamine were also larger in CASMC than in PASMC. Na+/Ca2+ exchanger-mediated increases in [Ca2+]cyt did not differ significantly between CASMC and PASMC. The basal protein expression levels of STIM1/2, Orai1/2, and TRPC6 were higher in CASMC than in PASMC, but hypoxia (3% O2 for 72 h) significantly upregulated protein expression levels of STIM1/STIM2, Orai1/Orai2, and TRPC6 and increased the resting [Ca2+]cyt only in PASMC, but not in CASMC. The different response of essential components of store-operated and receptoroperated Ca2+ channels to hypoxia is a unique intrinsic property of PASMC, which is likely one of the important explanations why hypoxia causes pulmonary vasoconstriction and induces pulmonary vascular remodeling, but causes coronary vasodilation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)C504-C517
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Cell Physiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2018


  • Calcium signaling
  • Coronary vasodilation
  • Hypoxia
  • Hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cell Biology


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