Membrane Physiologic Aspects of the Adjustment of Peripheral Vascular Tone
A variety of local or systemic influences regulate peripheral organ perfusion, e.g. K+ ions, pH value, noradrenaline, prostacyclin, endothelial factors (1). With the multiplicity of effectors, and since several can be changed at the same time, the question of mechanism arises. To refer to Sherrington (2), it is important to find the “final common pathway” of their integration, even in the vascular smooth muscle cell. Electrophysiology opens up one approach to this problem. Nevertheless, biochemical processes in the cell membrane and in the cell interior have a part to play, particularly when the transmembrane passage of ions is modulated by the known intracellular second messengers like Ca2+, cAMP, cGMP, GTP-binding proteins, protein kinase C and ATP (3). This study deals mainly with the regulation of smooth muscle tone by the membrane potential with voltage-gated channels predominating.
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