Sarcoplasmic reticulum-mitochondria communication in cardiovascular pathophysiology

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Repetitive, calcium-mediated contractile activity renders cardiomyocytes critically dependent on a sustained energy supply and adequate calcium buffering, both of which are provided by mitochondria. Moreover, in vascular smooth muscle cells, mitochondrial metabolism modulates cell growth and proliferation, whereas cytosolic calcium levels regulate the arterial vascular tone. Physical and functional communication between mitochondria and sarco/endoplasmic reticulum and balanced mitochondrial dynamics seem to have a critical role for optimal calcium transfer to mitochondria, which is crucial in calcium homeostasis and mitochondrial metabolism in both types of muscle cells. Moreover, mitochondrial dysfunction has been associated with myocardial damage and dysregulation of vascular smooth muscle proliferation. Therefore, sarco/endoplasmic reticulum-mitochondria coupling and mitochondrial dynamics are now viewed as relevant factors in the pathogenesis of cardiac and vascular diseases, including coronary artery disease, heart failure, and pulmonary arterial hypertension. In this Review, we summarize the evidence related to the role of sarco/endoplasmic reticulum-mitochondria communication in cardiac and vascular muscle physiology, with a focus on how perturbations contribute to the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disorders.

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