Stretching of cardiac muscle modulates contraction through the enhancement of the Ca2+ transient, but how this occurs is still not known. We found that stretching of myocytes modulates the elementary Ca2+ release process from ryanodine-receptor Ca2+-release channels (RyRCs), Ca2+ sparks and the electrically stimulated Ca2+ transient. Stretching induces Ptdlns-3-OH kinase (PI(3)K)-dependent phosphorylation of both Akt and the endothelial isoform of nitric oxide synthase (NOS), nitric oxide (NO) production, and a proportionate increase in Ca2+-spark frequency that is abolished by inhibiting NOS and PI(3)K. Exogenously generated NO reversibly increases Ca2+-spark frequency without cell stretching. We propose that myocyte NO produced by activation of the PI(3)K-Akt-endothelial NOS axis acts as a second messenger of stretch by enhancing RyRC activity, contributing to myocardial contractile activation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology