This work was made at the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology of the Institute of Biomedicine and hence made possible by Professor Heikki Vapaatalo, the Head of the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Professor Ismo Virtanen, the Head of the Institute of Biomedicine, and Professor Olli A. Jänne, the former Head of the Institute of Biomedicine.
Professor Raimo K. Tuominen kindly welcomed me to his signal transduction group, provided me the topic of this series of studies and helped me to navigate in the jungle of signalling molecules. I am grateful for the time and effort he invested into my progress.
I wish to thank my senior coworkers Dr. Matti Viluksela, Professor Kid Törnquist, and Dr. Pentti Somerharju for helping me to approach various questions in toxicology and calcium and lipid signalling.
I express my gratitude to my peers Dr. Tiina Jaakkola, Dr. Charlotta Sandler, Dr. Paula Savolainen, Dr. Ilkka Reenilä, and Dr. Martti Törnwall. Ms. Vuokko Pahlsten has been for technical help in various phases of this study and Mr. Esa Oja has successfully hunted for literature whenever needed.
Professors Mauri J. Mattila, Matti K. Paasonen and Pekka Rauhala have expressed interest towards my work, provided valuable hints, and asked critical questions stimulating my growth as a pharmacologist.
Dr. Hannu Komulainen and Dr. Hannu Kankaanranta reviewed the manuscript of this thesis and provided constructive criticism and comments.
I really have enjoyed the co-operation and the more or less scientific discussions with Dr. Michael K. McMillian, Dr. Jyrki Vanakoski, Dr. Kari Eklund, and Dr. Elina Ekokoski.
Finally, I express my deep gratitude to my dear wife Minna; for support, criticism and love.
I am grateful to the sources of funding: Yrjö Jahnsson foundation, the Academy of Finland, University of Helsinki Chancellor, the Research and Science Foundation of Farmos, Duodecim, Magnus Ehrnrooth Foundation and Finnish Pharmacological Society.
Thank you, all!