Purpose: Activation of the transient receptor potential channels, TRPC6, TRPM4, and TRPP1 (PKD2), has been shown to contribute to the myogenic constriction of cerebral arteries. In the present study we sought to determine the potential role of various mechanosensitive TRP channels to myogenic signaling in arterioles of the rat retina.
Methods: Rat retinal arterioles were isolated for RT-PCR, Fura-2 Ca2+ microfluorimetry, patch-clamp electrophysiology, and pressure myography studies. In some experiments, confocal immunolabeling of wholemount preparations was used to examine the localization of specific mechanosensitive TRP channels in retinal vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs).
Results: Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction analysis demonstrated mRNA expression for TRPC1, M7, V1, V2, V4, and P1, but not TRPC6 or M4, in isolated retinal arterioles. Immunolabeling revealed plasma membrane, cytosolic and nuclear expression of TRPC1, M7, V1, V2, V4, and P1 in retinal VSMCs. Hypoosmotic stretch-induced Ca2+ influx in retinal VSMCs was reversed by the TRPV2 inhibitor tranilast and the nonselective TRPP1/V2 antagonist amiloride. Inhibitors of TRPC1, M7, V1, and V4 had no effect. Hypoosmotic stretch-activated cation currents were similar in Na+ and Cs+ containing solutions suggesting no contribution by TRPP1 channels. Direct plasma membrane stretch triggered cation current activity that was blocked by tranilast and specific TRPV2 pore-blocking antibodies and mimicked by the TRPV2 activator, Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol. Preincubation of retinal arterioles with TRPV2 blocking antibodies prevented the development of myogenic tone.
Conclusions: Our results suggest that retinal VSMCs express a range of mechanosensitive TRP channels, but only TRPV2 appears to contribute to myogenic signaling in this vascular bed.