Intercellular Calcium Waves in Primary Cultured Rat Mesenteric Smooth Muscle Cells Are Mediated by connexin43

Cell Commun Adhes. 2012 Apr;19(2):25-37. doi: 10.3109/15419061.2012.690792.


Intercellular Ca(2+) wave propagation between vascular smooth muscle cells (SMCs) is associated with the propagation of contraction along the vessel. Here, we characterize the involvement of gap junctions (GJs) in Ca(2+) wave propagation between SMCs at the cellular level. Gap junctional communication was assessed by the propagation of intercellular Ca(2+) waves and the transfer of Lucifer Yellow in A7r5 cells, primary rat mesenteric SMCs (pSMCs), and 6B5N cells, a clone of A7r5 cells expressing higher connexin43 (Cx43) to Cx40 ratio. Mechanical stimulation induced an intracellular Ca(2+) wave in pSMC and 6B5N cells that propagated to neighboring cells, whereas Ca(2+) waves in A7r5 cells failed to progress to neighboring cells. We demonstrate that Cx43 forms the functional GJs that are involved in mediating intercellular Ca(2+) waves and that co-expression of Cx40 with Cx43, depending on their expression ratio, may interfere with Cx43 GJ formation, thus altering junctional communication.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium Signaling* / drug effects
  • Carbenoxolone / pharmacology
  • Cell Communication
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Connexin 43 / genetics
  • Connexin 43 / metabolism*
  • Connexins / genetics
  • Connexins / metabolism
  • Fluorescent Dyes / metabolism
  • Gap Junctions / drug effects
  • Gap Junctions / metabolism
  • Gene Expression
  • Isoquinolines / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mesenteric Arteries / cytology*
  • Myocytes, Smooth Muscle / metabolism*
  • Octanols / pharmacology
  • Peptides / pharmacology
  • Primary Cell Culture
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Transport
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Single-Cell Analysis


  • Connexin 43
  • Connexins
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Gap 26 peptide
  • Isoquinolines
  • Octanols
  • Peptides
  • connexin 40
  • lucifer yellow
  • Carbenoxolone