Inhibition of dihydropyridine-sensitive calcium entry in hypoxic relaxation of airway smooth muscle

C. Vannier, T. L. Croxton, L. S. Farley, C. A. Hirshman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Hypoxia dilates airways in vivo and reduces active tension of airway smooth muscle in vitro. To determine whether hypoxia impairs Ca2+ entry through voltage-dependent channels (VDC), we tested the ability of dihydropyridines to modulate hypoxia-induced relaxation of KCl-and carbamyl choline (carbachol)-contracted porcine bronchi. Carbachol- or KCl-contracted bronchial rings were exposed to progressive hypoxia in the presence or absence of 1 μM BAY K 8644 (an L-type-channel agonist). In separate experiments, rings were contracted with carbachol or KCl, treated with nifedipine (a VDC antagonist), and finally exposed to hypoxia. BAY K 8644 prevented hypoxia-induced relaxation in KCl-contracted bronchi. Nifedipine (10-5 M) totally relaxed KCl-contracted bronchi. Carbachol-contracted bronchi were only partially relaxed by nifedipine but were completely relaxed when the O2 concentration of the gas was reduced from 95 to 0%. These data indicate that hypoxia can reduce airway smooth muscle tone by limiting entry of Ca2+ through a dihydropyridine-sensitive pathway, but that other mechanisms also contribute to hypoxia-induced relaxation of carbachol- contracted bronchi.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L201-L206
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Issue number2 12-2
StatePublished - 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Cell Biology


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