Measurement of Changes in Endothelial and Smooth Muscle Ca2+ in Pressurized Arteries

  • Kim A. DoraEmail author
  • Michael A. Hill
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 937)


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 words

Arteries Endothelial cells Imaging 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PharmacologyUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK
  2. 2.Dalton Cardiovascular Research Centre and Department of Medical Pharmacology and PhysiologyUniversity of MissouriColumbiaUSA

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