In A7r5 vascular smooth muscle cells, Arg8-vasopressin (AVP) stimulates phospholipase C leading to activation of two distinct Ca2+ entry pathways. The capacitative Ca2+ entry (CCE) pathway is activated by depletion of Ca2+ stores, is permeable to Mn2+, Ba2+ and Ca2+, and is selectively blocked by Gd3+ (1μM). A7r5 cells also express a non-capacitative Ca2+ entry (NCCE) pathway, which is activated by arachidonic acid that is released by the sequential activities of phospholipase C and diacylglycerol lipase. This pathway is permeable to Sr2+, Ba2+ and Ca2+ and selectively blocked by (R,S)-(3,4-dihydro-6,7-dimethoxy-isochinolin-1-yl)-2-phenyl-N,N-di[2-(2,3,4-trimethoxyphenyl)ethyl]acetamid mesylate ('LOE-908'). We use these selective tools to show that AVP, via the same signalling pathway that leads to activation of NCCE, also inhibits CCE and that the inhibition is not due to depolarization of the plasma membrane. Using the selective inhibitors to resolve the contributions of each Ca2+ entry pathway during stimulation with AVP, we establish that reciprocal regulation of CCE and NCCE by arachidonic acid ensures that only NCCE is active in the presence of AVP, whereas CCE is active only after its removal. NCCE and CCE are therefore activated in a strict temporal sequence: NCCE first and then CCE. Because Ca2+ passing through different Ca2+ entry pathways can selectively regulate different responses, reciprocal regulation of CCE and NCCE may allow a stimulus to first evoke a response and then recruit actively a different response when the stimulus is removed.

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