Mutations in the filamin A (FlnA) gene are frequently associated with severe arterial abnormalities, although the physiological role for this cytoskeletal element remains poorly understood in vascular cells. We used a conditional mouse model to selectively delete FlnA in smooth muscle (sm) cells at the adult stage, thus avoiding the developmental effects of the knockout. Basal blood pressure was significantly reduced in conscious smFlnA knockout mice. Remarkably, pressure-dependent tone of the resistance caudal artery was lost, whereas reactivity to vasoconstrictors was preserved. Impairment of the myogenic behavior was correlated with a lack of calcium influx in arterial myocytes upon an increase in intraluminal pressure. Notably, the stretch activation of CaV1.2 was blunted in the absence of smFlnA. In conclusion, FlnA is a critical upstream element of the signaling cascade underlying the myogenic tone. These findings allow a better understanding of the molecular basis of arterial autoregulation and associated disease states.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
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