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Agonist-induced phasic and tonic responses in smooth muscle are mediated by InsP3

McCarron, J.G. and Craig, J.W. and Bradley, K.N. and Muir, T.C. (2002) Agonist-induced phasic and tonic responses in smooth muscle are mediated by InsP3. Journal of Cell Science, 115. pp. 2207-2218. ISSN 0021-9533

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Many cellular functions are regulated by agonist-induced InsP3-evoked Ca2+ release from the internal store. In non-excitable cells, predominantly, the initial Ca2+ release from the store by InsP3 is followed by a more sustained elevation in [Ca2+]i via store-operated Ca2+ channels as a consequence of depletion of the store. Here, in smooth muscle, we report that the initial transient increase in Ca2+, from the internal store, is followed by a sustained response also as a consequence of depletion of the store (by InsP3), but, influx occurs via voltage-dependent Ca2+ channels. Contractions were measured in pieces of whole distal colon and membrane currents and [Ca2+]i in single colonic myocytes. Carbachol evoked phasic and tonic contractions; only the latter were abolished in Ca2+-free solution. The tonic component was blocked by the voltage-dependent Ca2+ channel blocker nimodipine but not by the store-operated channel blocker SKF 96365. InsP3 receptor inhibition, with 2-APB, attenuated both the phasic and tonic components. InsP3 may regulate tonic contractions via sarcolemma Ca2+ entry. In single cells, depolarisation (to ~-20 mV) elevated [Ca2+]i and activated spontaneous transient outward currents (STOCs). CCh suppressed STOCs, as did caffeine and InsP3. InsP3 receptor blockade by 2-APB or heparin prevented CCh suppression of STOCs; protein kinase inhibition by H-7 or PKC19-36 did not. InsP3 suppressed STOCs by depleting a Ca2+ store accessed separately by the ryanodine receptor (RyR). Thus depletion of the store by RyR activators abolished the InsP3-evoked Ca2+ transient. RyR inhibition (by tetracaine) reduced only STOCs but not the InsP3 transient. InsP3 contributes to both phasic and tonic contractions. In the former, muscarinic receptor-evoked InsP3 releases Ca2+ from an internal store accessed by both InsP3 and RyR. Depletion of this store by InsP3 alone suppresses STOCs, depolarises the sarcolemma and permits entry of Ca2+ to generate the tonic component. Therefore, by lowering the internal store Ca2+ content, InsP3 may generate a sustained smooth muscle contraction. These results provide a mechanism to account for phasic and tonic smooth muscle contraction following receptor activation.