Calcium Sparks in Vascular Smooth Muscle—Relaxation Regulators

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Science  27 Oct 1995:
Vol. 270, Issue 5236, pp. 588
DOI: 10.1126/science.270.5236.588


Calcium “sparks” are small, intense bursts of calcium that occur in cells from cardiac muscle, skeletal muscle, and, as shown in a paper in this issue of Science by Nelson et al. (p. 633), smooth muscle. As discussed by F. Fay, these sparks are of particular interest because in smooth muscle they have a unique and unexpected function: They control vasodilation in small arteries of the brain.