Role of cyclic nucleotides in the control of cytosolic ca2+ levels in vascular endothelial cells: Invited review

Hiu Yee KWAN, Y. Huang, X. Q. Yao, Fung Ping LEUNG

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Endothelial cells have a key role in the cardiovascular system. Most endothelial cell functions depend on changes in cytosolic Ca2+ concentrations ([Ca2+]i) to some extent and Ca 2+ signalling acts to link external stimuli with the synthesis and release of regulatory factors in endothelial cells. The [Ca2+] i is maintained by a well-balanced Ca2+ flux across the endoplasmic reticulum and plasma membrane. Cyclic nucleotides, such as cAMP and cGMP, are very important second messengers. The cyclic nucleotides can affect [Ca2+]i directly or indirectly (via the actions of protein kinase (PK) A or PKG-mediated phosphorylation) by regulating Ca2+ mobilization and Ca2+ influx. Fine-tuning of [Ca2+] i is also fundamental to protect endothelial cells against damaged caused by the excessive accumulation of Ca2+. Therapeutic agents that control cAMP and cGMP levels have been used to treat various cardiovascular diseases. The aim of the present review is to discuss: (i) the functions of endothelial cells; (ii) the importance of [Ca2+]i in endothelial cells; (iii) the impact of excessive [Ca2+]i in endothelial cells; and (iv) the balanced control of [Ca2+] i in endothelial cells via involvement of cyclic nucleotides (cAMP and cGMP) and their general effectors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)857-866
Number of pages10
JournalClinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2009

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Physiology
  • Pharmacology
  • Physiology (medical)

User-Defined Keywords

  • CAMP
  • Cardiovascular system
  • CGMP
  • Cytosolic Ca concentration
  • Endothelial cells


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