Calcium signaling and oxidant stress in the vasculature

Karen M. Lounsbury, Qinghua Hu, Roy C. Ziegelstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

120 Scopus citations


Recent evidence suggests that oxidant stress plays a major role in several aspects of vascular biology. Oxygen free radicals are implicated as important factors in signaling mechanisms leading to vascular pathologies such as postischemic reperfusion injury and atherosclerosis. The role of intracellular Ca2+ in these signaling events is an emerging area of vascular research that is providing insights into the mechanisms mediating these complex physiological processes. This review explores sources of free radicals in the vasculature, as well as effects of free radicals on Ca2+ signaling in vascular endothelial and smooth muscle cells. In the endothelium, superoxides enhance and peroxides attenuate agonist-stimulated Ca2+ responses, suggesting differential signaling mechanisms depending on radical species. In smooth muscle cells, both superoxides and peroxides disrupt the sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ -ATPase, leading to both short- and long-term effects on smooth muscle Ca2+ handling. Because vascular Ca2+ signaling is altered by oxidant stress in ischemia-related disease states, understanding these pathways may lead to new strategies for preventing or treating arterial disease. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1362-1369
Number of pages8
JournalFree Radical Biology and Medicine
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 1 2000


  • Artery
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Calcium
  • Endothelium
  • Free radical
  • Ischemia-reperfusion
  • Peroxide
  • Vascular smooth muscle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology (medical)


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