Background: The differential adaptations of cerebrovasculature and small mesenteric arteries could be one of critical factors in postspaceflight orthostatic intolerance, but the cellular mechanisms remain unknown. We hypothesize that there is a differential regulation of intracellular Ca2+ determined by the alterations in the functions of plasma membrane CaL channels and ryanodine-sensitive Ca2+ releases from sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) in cerebral and small mesenteric vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) of simulated microgravity rats, respectively. Methodology/Principal Findings: Sprague-Dawley rats were subjected to 28-day hindlimb unweighting to simulate microgravity. In addition, tail-suspended rats were submitted to a recovery period of 3 or 7 days after removal of suspension. The function of CaL channels was evaluated by patch clamp and Western blotting. The function of ryanodine-sensitive Ca2+ releases in response to caffeine were assessed by a laser confocal microscope. Our results indicated that simulated microgravity increased the functions of CaL channels and ryanodine-sensitive Ca2+ releases in cerebral VSMCs, whereas, simulated microgravity decreased the functions of CaL channels and ryanodine-sensitive Ca2+ releases in small mesenteric VSMCs. In addition, 3- or 7-day recovery after removal of suspension could restore the functions of CaL channels and ryanodine-sensitive Ca2+ releases to their control levels in cerebral and small mesenteric VSMCs, respectively. Conclusions: The differential regulation of CaL channels and ryanodine-sensitive Ca2+ releases in cerebral and small mesenteric VSMCs may be responsible for the differential regulation of intracellular Ca2+, which leads to the altered autoregulation of cerebral vasculature and the inability to adequately elevate peripheral vascular resistance in postspaceflight orthostatic intolerance. © 2011 Xue et al.
Xue, J. H., Chen, L. H., Zhao, H. Z., Pu, Y. D., Feng, H. Z., Ma, Y. G., … Xie, M. J. (2011). Differential regulation and recovery of intracellular Ca2+ in cerebral and small mesenteric arterial smooth muscle cells of simulated microgravity rat. PLoS ONE, 6(5). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0019775