Our understanding of vascular endothelial cell physiology is based on studies of endothelial cells cultured from various vascular beds of different species for varying periods of time. Systematic analysis of the properties of endothelial cells from different parts of the vasculature is lacking. Here, we compare Ca(2+) homeostasis in primary cultures of endothelial cells from human internal mammary artery and saphenous vein and how this is modified by hypoxia, an inevitable consequence of bypass grafting (2.5% O(2), 24 h). Basal [Ca(2+)]( i ) and store depletion-mediated Ca(2+) entry were significantly different between the two cell types, yet agonist (ATP)-mediated mobilization from endoplasmic reticulum stores was similar. Hypoxia potentiated agonist-evoked responses in arterial, but not venous, cells but augmented store depletion-mediated Ca(2+) entry only in venous cells. Clearly, Ca(2+) signaling and its remodeling by hypoxia are strikingly different in arterial vs. venous endothelial cells. Our data have important implications for the interpretation of data obtained from endothelial cells of varying sources.

Original publication




Journal article


J Membr Biol

Publication Date





151 - 158


Calcium, Calcium Signaling, Cell Hypoxia, Cells, Cultured, Endothelial Cells, Humans, Patch-Clamp Techniques