CHAPTER 3 • CELLULAR STRUCTURE AND FUNCTION
59
to M3 receptors located on the smooth
muscle. This activates the IP3 pathway
and stimulates calcium release by the
sarcoplasmic reticulum, which leads to
increased smooth muscle contraction.
If the endothelium is intact, stimulation
of the NO-cGMP pathway dominates
over the actions of the IP3 pathway;
therefore, acetylcholine normally causes
vasodilation.
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