Gap junction permeability is diminished in proliferating vascular smooth muscle cells

David T. Kurjiaka, Timothy D. Steele, Mary V. Olsen, Janis M. Burt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

28 Scopus citations

Abstract

In atherosclerosis and hypertension, vascular smooth muscle cells (SMCs) are stimulated to proliferate and exhibit enhanced gap junction protein expression. Our goal was to determine whether gap junction function differs in proliferating vs. growth-arrested SMCs. A7r5 cells (embryonic rat aortic SMCs) did not proliferate in media with reduced serum (~ 90% of cells in G0/G1 phase after 48-96 h in 1% fetal bovine serum). Dye coupling was less but electrical coupling was comparable in proliferating vs. growth-arrested A7r5 cells, suggesting differences in junctional permselectivity. In growth- arrested cells, junctional conductances measured with potassium glutamate, tetraethylammonium chloride, and KCl were well predicted by the conductivities of these solutions. In contrast, junctional conductances measured with potassium glutamate and tetraethylammonium chloride in proliferating cells were significantly greater than predicted by the conductivities of these solutions. These results suggest that junctions between growth-arrested cells are permeated equally well and simultaneously by anions and cations, whereas junctions between proliferating cells are poorly permeated by large molecules of either charge and equally well but not simultaneously by small anions and cations. The data indicate that A7r5 cells regulate chemical coupling independent of electrical coupling, a capacity that could facilitate growth control while protecting vasomotor responsiveness of vessels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)C1674-C1682
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Cell Physiology
Volume275
Issue number6 44-6
StatePublished - Dec 1 1998

Keywords

  • Cell cycle
  • Connexon
  • Growth control
  • Intercellular communication
  • Permselectivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cell Biology

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