Background and Purpose Transient receptor potential vanilloid-4 (TRPV4) is a calcium-permeant ion channel that is known to affect vascular function. The ability of TRPV4 to cause a vasoconstriction in blood vessels has not yet been mechanistically examined. Further in neuronal cells, TRPV4 signalling can be potentiated by GPCR activation. Thus, we studied the mechanisms underlying the vascular contractile action of TRPV4 and the GPCR-mediated potentiation of such vasoconstriction, both of which are as yet unappreciated aspects of TRPV4 function. Experimental Approach The mechanisms of TRPV4-dependent regulation of vascular tone in isolated mouse aortae were studied using wire myography. TRPV4-dependent calcium signalling and prostanoid production was studied in cultured human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). Key Results In addition to the well-documented vasorelaxation response triggered by TRPV4 activation, we report here a TRPV4-triggered vasoconstriction in the mouse aorta that involves a COX-generated Tx receptor (TP) agonist that acts in a MAPK and Src kinase signalling dependent manner. This constriction is potentiated by activation of the GPCRs for angiotensin (AT1 receptors) or proteinases (PAR1 and PAR2) via transactivation of the EGF receptor and a process involving PKC. TRPV4-dependent vascular contraction can be blocked by COX inhibitors or with TP antagonists. Further, TRPV4 activation in HUVECs stimulated Tx release as detected by an elisa. Conclusion and Implications We conclude that the GPCR potentiation of TRPV4 action and TRPV4-dependent Tx receptor activation are important regulators of vascular function and could be therapeutically targeted in vascular diseases.
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