CaV3.1 T-Type Ca2+ Channels Contribute to Myogenic Signalling in Rat Retinal Arterioles

Jose A. Fernandez, Mary K. McGahon, J. Graham McGeown, Tim M. Curtis

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Purpose: Although L-type Ca2+ channels are known to play a key role in the myogenic reactivity of retinal arterial vessels, the involvement of other types of voltage-gated Ca2+ channels in this process remains unknown. In the present study we have investigated the contribution of T-type Ca2+ channels to myogenic signalling in arterioles of the rat retinal microcirculation.

Methods: Confocal immunolabelling of wholemount preparations was used to investigate the localisation of CaV3.1-3 channels in retinal arteriolar smooth muscle cells. T-type currents and the contribution of T-type channels to myogenic signalling were assessed by whole-cell patch-clamp recording and pressure myography of isolated retinal arteriole segments.

Results: Strong immunolabelling for CaV3.1 was observed on the plasma membrane of retinal arteriolar smooth muscle cells. In contrast, no expression of CaV3.2 or CaV3.3 could be detected in retinal arterioles, although these channels were present on glial cell end feet surrounding the vessels and retinal ganglion cells, respectively. TTA-A2 sensitive T-type currents were recorded in retinal arteriolar myocytes with biophysical properties distinct from those of the L-type currents present in these cells. Inhibition of T-type channels using TTA-A2 or ML-218 dilated isolated, myogenically active, retinal arterioles.

Conclusions: CaV3.1 T-type Ca2+ channels are functionally expressed on arteriolar smooth muscle cells of retinal arterioles and play an important role in myogenic signalling in these vessels. The work has important implications concerning our understanding of the mechanisms controlling blood flow autoregulation in the retina and its disruption during ocular disease.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5125-5132
Number of pages8
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2015


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