Contractures induced by reversed Na+/Ca2+ exchange in rat portal vein: effects of calcium antagonists

B Johansson, Per Hellstrand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Spontaneous electrical and mechanical activity was abolished in isolated preparations of rat portal vein by exposure to K+-free Krebs solution. This procedure probably also increased the intracellular [Na+] owing to interference with the active transmembrane Na+-K+ transport. Contractures could be induced under these conditions by lowering extracellular [Na+] from the control level of 144 to 17 mM using sucrose, TrisCl, or LiCl as NaCl substitutes. Contractile force depended on the type of substitute: sucrose greater than TrisCl greater than LiCl. These contractures are thought to be caused by influx of extracellular Ca2+ through the Na+/Ca2+ exchanger, which otherwise transports Ca2+ in the opposite direction at normal transmembrane Na+ gradient. The contractile response to low Na+ was rapidly and completely abolished in nominally Ca2+-free medium; it was strongly inhibited by 0.4 mM MnCl2 but was not affected by high concentrations of the organic calcium antagonists, felodipine (10(-6) M), verapamil (10(-5) M), or diltiazem (10(-5) M). We conclude that the Na+/Ca2+-exchanger is an effective pathway for Ca2+ transport over vascular smooth muscle cell membrane; this pathway is not blocked by calcium antagonists.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-81
JournalJournal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology
Issue numberSuppl. 1
Publication statusPublished - 1987

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Physiology


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