Vascular Hypoxic Preconditioning Relies on TRPV4-Dependent Calcium Influx and Proper Intercellular Gap Junctions Communication
Objective—We investigated the impact of hypoxia-reoxygenation on endothelial relaxation and aimed to clarify the role of transient receptor potential cation channels V4 and gap junctions in the protective effect associated with hypoxic preconditioning on the vascular function.
Methods and Results—By mimicking ischemia-reperfusion in C57BL/6 male mice in vivo, we documented a reduced NO-mediated relaxation and an increased endothelium-derived hyperpolarization (EDH[F])-mediated relaxation. Hypoxic preconditioning, however, restored NO relaxation and further improved the EDH(F) response. We also examined specifically 2 major effectors of the EDH(F) pathway, transient receptor potential cation channels V4 and connexins. We found that in endothelial cells, expression and activity of transient receptor potential cation channels V4 were increased by hypoxic stimuli independently of preconditioning which was interestingly associated with an increase of structural caveolar component caveolin-1 at membrane locations. Gap junctions, however, seemed to directly support EDH(F)-driven preconditioning as connexin 40 and connexin 43 expression increased and as in vivo carbenoxolone treatment completely inhibited the EDH(F) pathway and significantly reduced the protection afforded by preconditioning for the concomitant NO-mediated relaxation.
Conclusion—Our work provides evidence on how transient receptor potential cation channels V4 and connexins might participate in preserving vasorelaxation under hypoxia and restoring the NO-mediated pathway in hypoxic preconditioning conditions pointing out caveolae as a common signaling location.
- hypoxic preconditioning
- gap junctions
- transient receptor potential cation channels V4
- endothelium-derived hyperpolarization
- Received October 17, 2011.
- Accepted July 3, 2012.
- © 2012 American Heart Association, Inc.