Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Role of intracellular Ca2+ sequestration in β-adrenergic relaxation of a smooth muscle


Various mechanisms have been proposed for β-adrenergically mediated relaxation of smooth muscle. All theories suggest the involvement of cyclic AMP as a second messenger: β-agonists stimulate adenylate cyclase which converts ATP to cyclic AMP1 and protein kinase, activated by cyclic AMP, is then thought to catalyse a protein phosphorylation that leads to a reduction in free Ca2+, thus effecting relaxation1. How this last step is accomplished is much debated, but the following possibilities are currently considered as the mechanisms responsible for cyclic AMP-induced reduction of cytoplasmic Ca2+: activation of a Ca2+-ATPase in the plasma and/or sarcoplasmic reticulum membranes which lowers cytoplasmic [Ca2+] in a direct manner or stimulation of (Na+–K+)ATPase in the cell membrane which may indirectly effect Ca2+ extrusion2–8. Among the hypotheses suggested, those of Ca2+ sequestration by the sarcoplasmic reticulum and of Ca2+ extrusion across the cell membrane are consistent with each other if it is assumed that both processes are effected by a cyclic AMP-sensitive Ca2+-ATPase. However, quite a different mechanism is implied by involving the Na+–K2+ pump and Na+–Ca2+ exchange carrier. In this report, we present evidence that suggests intracellular Ca2+ sequestration is the mechanism involved.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Rent or buy this article

Get just this article for as long as you need it


Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout


  1. Robison, G. A., Butcher, R. W. & Sutherland, E. W. Cyclic AMP, 197 (Academic, New York, 1971).

    Google Scholar 

  2. Kroeger, E. A., Marshall, J. M. & Bianchi, C. P. J. Pharmac. exp. Ther. 193, 309–316 (1975).

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. Bülbring, E. & den Hertog, A. J. Physiol., Lond. 268, 29P–30P (1977).

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  4. Nilsson, K. B. et al. in Excitation–Contraction Coupling in Smooth Muscle (eds Casteels, R., Godfraind, T. & Rüegg, J. C.) 187–197 (Elsevier, Amsterdam, 1977).

    Google Scholar 

  5. van Breemen, C. J. Physiol., Lond. 272, 317–329 (1977).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. Somlyo, A. & Somlyo, A. V. Fedn Proc. 28, 1634–1648 (1969).

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. Scheid, C. R., Honeyman, T. W. & Fay, F. S. Nature 277, 32–36 (1979).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. Reuter, H., Blaustein, M. P. & Haeusler, G. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B265, 87–94 (1973).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. Shimo, Y. & Holland, W. C. Am. J. Physiol. 211, 1299–1304 (1966).

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  10. van Breemen, C., Aaronson, P. & Loutzenhiser, P. Pharmac. Rev. 30, 167–208 (1979).

    Google Scholar 

  11. Deth, R. C. & van Breemen, C. Pflügers Arch. ges. Physiol. 348, 13–22 (1974).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  12. Andersson, R., Lundholm, L., Mohne-Lundholme, E. & Nilsson, K. Adv. Cyclic Nucleotide Res. 1, 213–228 (1972).

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  13. Adelstein, R. S., Conti, M. A., Hathaway, D. R. & Klee, C. B. J. biol. Chem. 253, 8347–8350 (1978).

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Mueller, E., van Breemen, C. Role of intracellular Ca2+ sequestration in β-adrenergic relaxation of a smooth muscle. Nature 281, 682–683 (1979).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

This article is cited by


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing