Measurement of Changes in Endothelial and Smooth Muscle Ca2+ in Pressurized Arteries
The use of single- and dual-wavelength Ca2+-sensitive fluorescent dyes to monitor changes in endothelial and/or smooth muscle intracellular Ca2+ levels has provided information linking Ca2+ events to changes in arterial function. Here we describe the in vitro techniques used to selectively load Ca2+ indicators into either the endothelium or the smooth muscle of cannulated rat cremaster arteries. These vessels normally develop spontaneous myogenic tone that is largely unaffected by the loading of Ca2+ indicators or the subsequent imaging procedures. This suggests that there is minimal Ca2+ buffering or damage, and that the fluorescent indicator-loaded vessels behave similarly to unloaded preparations. Importantly, these approaches are applicable to both isobaric and isometric preparations and have been also used for the study of a number of vascular beds including cerebral, mesenteric, coronary, and skeletal muscle vasculatures.
Key wordsArteries Endothelial cells Imaging
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