Chronic hypoxia upregulates pulmonary arterial ASIC1: a novel mechanism of enhanced store-operated Ca2+ entry and receptor-dependent vasoconstriction. Academic Article uri icon


  • Acid-sensing ion channel 1 (ASIC1) is a newly characterized contributor to store-operated Ca(2+) entry (SOCE) in pulmonary vascular smooth muscle (VSM). Since SOCE is implicated in elevated basal VSM intracellular Ca(2+) concentration ([Ca(2+)](i)) and augmented vasoconstriction in chronic hypoxia (CH)-induced pulmonary hypertension, we hypothesized that ASIC1 contributes to these responses. To test this hypothesis, we examined effects of the specific pharmacologic ASIC1a inhibitor, psalmotoxin 1 (PcTX1), on vasoconstrictor and vessel wall [Ca(2+)](i) responses to UTP and KCl (depolarizing stimulus) in fura-2-loaded, pressurized small pulmonary arteries from control and CH (4 wk at 0.5 atm) Wistar rats. PcTX1 had no effect on basal vessel wall [Ca(2+)](i), but attenuated vasoconstriction and increases in vessel wall [Ca(2+)](i) to UTP in arteries from control and CH rats; normalizing responses between groups. In contrast, responses to the depolarizing stimulus, KCl, were unaffected by CH exposure or PcTX1. Upon examining potential Ca(2+) influx mechanisms, we found that PcTX1 prevented augmented SOCE following CH. Exposure to CH resulted in a significant increase in pulmonary arterial ASIC1 protein. This study supports a novel role of ASIC1 in elevated receptor-stimulated vasoconstriction following CH which is likely mediated through increased ASIC1 expression and SOCE.

publication date

  • January 1, 2012