Intercellular communication in the vascular wall: a modeling perspective

Microcirculation. 2012 Jul;19(5):391-402. doi: 10.1111/j.1549-8719.2012.00171.x.


Movement of ions (Ca(2+) , K(+) , Na(+) , and Cl(-) ) and second messenger molecules like inositol 1, 4, 5-trisphosphate inside and in between different cells is the basis of many signaling mechanisms in the microcirculation. In spite of the vast experimental efforts directed toward evaluation of these fluxes, it has been a challenge to establish their roles in many essential microcirculatory phenomena. Recently, detailed theoretical models of calcium dynamics and plasma membrane electrophysiology have emerged to assist in the quantification of these intra and intercellular fluxes and enhance understanding of their physiological importance. This perspective reviews selected models relevant to estimation of such intra and intercellular ionic and second messenger fluxes and prediction of their relative significance to a variety of vascular phenomena, such as myoendothelial feedback, conducted responses, and vasomotion.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Communication / physiology*
  • Endothelium, Vascular / physiology*
  • Hemodynamics / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Ion Transport / physiology
  • Ions / metabolism
  • Models, Cardiovascular*
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular / physiology*
  • Second Messenger Systems / physiology*


  • Ions