Endothelial responses may contribute importantly to the pathology of high vascular pressure. In lung venular capillaries, we determined endothelial [Ca(2+)](i) by the fura-2 ratioing method and fusion pore formation by quantifying the fluorescence of FM1-43. Pressure elevation increased endothelial [Ca(2+)](i). Concomitantly evoked exocytotic events were evident in a novel spatial-temporal pattern of fusion pore formation. Fusion pores formed predominantly at vascular branch points and colocalized with the expression of P-selectin. Blockade of mechanogated Ca(2+) channels inhibited these responses, identifying entry of external Ca(2+) as the critical triggering mechanism. These endothelial responses point to a proinflammatory effect of high vascular pressure that may be relevant in the pathogenesis of pressure-induced lung disease.