Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) remain a major cause of mortality and morbidity world-wide and in Hong Kong. The CVD prevalence has been increasing due to an ageing population and an increasing level of obesity and diabetes. Calcium signaling plays critical roles in cellular function and is important for life. Calcium ions (Ca2+) are the most versatile second messengers , as many vital physiological processes within the body are controlled by intracellular free Ca2+. Ca2+ enters the cell through Ca2+ channels that may be voltage-operated, ligand-operated or mechanically operated. Ca2+ can also be released from intracellular compartments by second messengers, such as inositol trisphosphate (IP3). Indeed most intracellular Ca2+ is stored in the endoplasmic reticulum and release of Ca2+ into the cytosol creates a Ca2+ signal, or Ca2+ “spark”, that can be recorded by using state-of-the-art Ca2+-imaging techniques.
Kunfu Ouyang, PhD
Peking University Shenzhen Graduate School
The conference was substantially supported by a grant from the National Natural Science Foundation of China / Research Grant Council Joint Research Scheme sponsored by the Research Grants Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China (Project No. N_CUHK453/17).