BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: TRPC1 channels are expressed in the vasculature and are putative candidates for intracellular Ca(2+) handling. However, little is known about their role in endothelium-dependent vasodilatations including endothelium-derived hyperpolarizing factor (EDHF) vasodilatations, which require activation of Ca(2+) -activated K(+) channels (K(Ca)). To provide molecular information on the role of TRPC1 for K(Ca) function and the EDHF signalling complex, we examined endothelium-dependent and independent vasodilatations, K(Ca) currents and smooth muscle contractility in TRPC1-deficient mice (TRPC1-/-).
EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH: Vascular responses were studied using pressure/wire myography and intravital microscopy. We performed electrophysiological measurements, and confocal Ca(2+) imaging for studying K(Ca) channel functions and Ca(2+) sparks.
KEY RESULTS: TRPC1 deficiency in carotid arteries produced a twofold augmentation of TRAM-34- and UCL1684-sensitive EDHF-type vasodilatations and of endothelial hyperpolarization to acetylcholine. NO-mediated vasodilatations were unchanged. TRPC1-/- exhibited enhanced EDHF-type vasodilatations in resistance-sized arterioles in vivo associated with reduced spontaneous tone. Endothelial IK(Ca) /SK(Ca)-type K(Ca) currents, smooth muscle cell Ca(2+) sparks and associated BK(Ca)-mediated spontaneous transient outward currents were unchanged in TRPC1-/-. Smooth muscle contractility induced by receptor-operated Ca(2+) influx or Ca(2+) release and endothelium-independent vasodilatations were unaltered in TRPC1-/-. TRPC1-/- exhibited lower systolic blood pressure as determined by tail-cuff blood pressure measurements.
CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: Our data demonstrate that TRPC1 acts as a negative regulator of endothelial K(Ca) channel-dependent EDHF-type vasodilatations and thereby contributes to blood pressure regulation. Thus, we propose a specific role of TRPC1 in the EDHF-K(Ca) signalling complex and suggest that pharmacological inhibition of TRPC1, by enhancing EDHF vasodilatations, may be a novel strategy for lowering blood pressure.