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Regulation of Cerebral Artery Smooth Muscle Membrane Potential by Ca2+-Activated Cation Channels

Authors

  • Albert L. Gonzales,

    1. Vascular Physiology Research Group, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA
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  • Scott Earley

    Corresponding author
    1. Vascular Physiology Research Group, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA
    • Address for correspondence: Scott Earley, Ph.D., Department of Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, 1617 Campus Delivery, Fort Collins, CO 80523-1617, USA. E-mail: Scott.Earley@colostate.edu

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Abstract

Arterial tone is dependent on the depolarizing and hyperpolarizing currents regulating membrane potential and governing the influx of Ca2+ needed for smooth muscle contraction. Several ion channels have been proposed to contribute to membrane depolarization, but the underlying molecular mechanisms are not fully understood. In this review, we will discuss the historical and physiological significance of the Ca2+-activated cation channel, TRPM4, in regulating membrane potential of cerebral artery smooth muscle cells. As a member of the recently described transient receptor potential super family of ion channels, TRPM4 possesses the biophysical properties and upstream cellular signaling and regulatory pathways that establish it as a major physiological player in smooth muscle membrane depolarization.

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