Increases in myofilament Ca2+ sensitivity resulting from stimulation of RhoA and Rho kinase represent a primary mechanism of vasoconstriction and associated pulmonary hypertension resulting from chronic hypoxia (CH). This chapter summarizes recent advances in the understanding of RhoA/Rho kinase signaling mechanisms in pulmonary vascular smooth muscle (VSM) that increase the sensitivity of the contractile apparatus to Ca2+ and contribute to vasoconstriction in this setting. Such advances include the discovery of myogenic tone in small pulmonary arteries from CH rats that contributes to vasoconstriction through a mechanism inherent to the VSM, dependent on Rho kinase-induced Ca2+ sensitization but independent of L-type voltage-gated Ca2+ channels. Additional studies have revealed an important contribution of superoxide anion (O2-)-induced RhoA activation to both receptor-mediated and membrane depolarization-induced myofilament Ca2+ sensitization in hypertensive pulmonary arteries. Xanthine oxidase and NADPH oxidase isoforms are potential sources of O2- that mediate RhoA-dependent vasoconstriction and associated pulmonary hypertension.
|Title of host publication||Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology|
|Editors||J X-J Yuan, J P T Ward|
|Place of Publication||USA|
|Pages||355 - 374|
|Number of pages||20|
|Publication status||Published - 2010|