Free Vascular Ion Channels in Physiology and Disease PDF Download

Free Vascular Ion Channels in Physiology and Disease PDF Download

Ion channels are the major class of membrane proteins responsible for rapid and regulated transport of ions across biological membranes and for the generation and propagation of electrical signals in the brain, heart, and skeletal and vascular tissues. Ion channels are also known to play critical roles in regulation of cell proliferation, insulin secretion and intracellular signaling in a variety of cell types. This book focuses on the roles of ion channels in vascular tissues under normal and pathological conditions.  Vascular abnormalities are known to underlie a plethora of severe pathological conditions, such as atherosclerosis, systemic and pulmonary hypertension, coronary or cerebral vasospasm, and diabetes. In addition, misregulated angiogenesis is one of the major contributors to the development of tumors. Therefore, it is clearly imperative to obtain a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms that contribute to vascular disorders. This book will be the first comprehensive assembly of assays to present the studies that have been done during the last decade to elucidate the roles of ion channels in different vascular diseases.

The central role of the vasculature in the function of the human body has been
appreciated, at least in certain circles, since the time of ancient Greece, when the
first known anatomical treatise that was not based on mysticism was produced.
Early anatomists got much wrong, of course, crediting blood vessels with carrying
tears and urine (but not sweat) in addition to blood, and suggesting the more fantastical role of conveying “breaths” of life and death (curiously these were said to be
directed to right and left ears, respectively). Aristotle and his fourth century BC
colleagues helped bring more empiricism to the subject, but their strictly anatomical
approach based on animal dissections left much of vascular function to the imagination. Detailed studies of human cadavers, notably those performed by Leonardo da
Vinci, the first to describe atherosclerosis, and later by Vesalius, considered by
many to be the founder of modern human anatomy, dramatically advanced our
understanding of the structure and basic responsibilities of the vascular system.
However, medieval tools would prove to be no match for the twentieth century
question of how various pieces and parts of the vascular system, though exquisitely
detailed in exacting drawings, actually functioned.
If there is a consensus start to the modern era of functional vascular biology
research, it is the publication in 1902 of a paper by William Bayliss, titled “On the
local reactions of the arterial wall to changes of internal pressure,” which reported
the counterintuitive finding that intravascular pressure causes healthy arteries to
constrict. More than 100 years later, this process, termed the myogenic response,
remains an area of active investigation—a testament to the complexity of the underlying mechanism. The concept that ion channels are fundamentally involved in this
and other vascular processes—the topic of this book—would be developed much
later, after the seminal work of Hodgkin and Huxley on action potentials in the
1950s, made possible by the experimentally accessible neurons of their giant squid
axon preparation, and after the confirmation of the existence of ion channels as
specific molecular entities by Katz and Miledi in the 1970s. In fact, it wasn’t until
the development of the “patch-clamp” technique by Neher and Sakmann in the late
1970s and early 1980s that the study of ion channels in vascular cells would begin
in earnest.

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