Simultaneous recording of Ca2+-images in one confocal plane from vascular smooth muscle cells (SMCs) and endothelial cells (ECs) of an intact rat femoral artery segment was performed using indo-1 and a confocal microscope. During application of 10 μM acetylcholine (ACh), elevation and oscillation of intracellular Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i) were observed in ECs but not in SMCs. Sequential conduction of Ca2+ oscillation from an EC to the neighboring ECs in one longitudinal direction was often observed in the presence of ACh. On the other hand, the activation of voltage-dependent Ca2+ channels by external 30 mM K+ resulted in the elevation of [Ca2+]i only in SMCs. When 10 μM ACh was added in the presence of 30 mM K+, it was observed in one confocal plane that [Ca2+]i in ECs and SMCs was almost simultaneously increased and decreased, respectively. The simultaneous recording method in this intact preparation will provide a line of valuable information about the interactions between SMCs and ECs, based on spatio-temporal analyses of absolute values of [Ca2+]i in individual cells.
The Japanese Pharmacological Society 2001