Altered Excitation-Contraction Coupling in Hypertension: Role of Plasma Membrane Phospholipids and Ion Channels

  • Robert H. Cox
  • Thomas N. Tulenko
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 304)


Established hypertension is characterized by an elevation of peripheral resistance (Frohlich, 1973). A variety of in vivo studies in human as well as animal models of hypertension have demonstrated augmented responsiveness of arterial smooth muscle to contractile agents (Triggle, 1989). However, identification of the cellular mechanisms responsible for this increased responsiveness has proven elusive. Most older in vitro studies of maximum contractile responses as well as of the sensitivity of isolated vascular smooth muscle to agonists failed to reveal augmented responses in hypertensive arteries (Cox, 1989; Mulvany, 1989; Triggle, 1989). Folkow proposed the hypothesis that increased arterial wall thickness which impinged on the lumen was responsible for an increased geometric component of peripheral resistance as well as the augmented in vivo smooth muscle responsiveness to agonists in hypertension (Folkow, 1973). The latter was thought to be the result of an amplifying effect of the increased wall thickness being translated into augmented resistance responses to smooth muscle activation (Folkow, 1973). This hypothesis was generally accepted as a reconciliation of the results reported up to the mid 1970s.


Arterial Smooth Muscle Cell Uterine Smooth Muscle Small Mesenteric Artery Small Resistance Artery Smooth Muscle Membrane 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert H. Cox
    • 1
  • Thomas N. Tulenko
    • 2
  1. 1.Bockus Research InstituteThe Graduate HospitalPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Department of PhysiologyMedical College of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA

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