Activity of voltage-gated potassium (Kv) channels controls membrane potential, which subsequently regulates cytoplasmic free calcium concentration ([Ca2+]cyt) in pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells (PASMCs). Acute hypoxia inhibits Kv channel function in PASMCs, inducing membrane depolarization and a rise in [Ca2+]cyt that triggers vasoconstriction. Prolonged hypoxia inhibits expression of Kv channels and reduces Kv channel currents in PASMCs. The consequent membrane depolarization raises [Ca2+]cyt, thus stimulating PASMC proliferation. The present review discusses recent evidence for the involvement of Kv channels in initiation of hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction and in chronic hypoxia-induced pulmonary hypertension.
- Intracellular calcium
- Membrane potential
- Smooth muscle
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine