Dopamine can regulate signal generation and transmission by activating multiple receptors and signaling cascades, especially in striatum, hippocampus, and cerebral cortex. Dopamine modulates an even larger variety of cellular properties in retina, yet has been reported to do so by only D1 receptor-driven cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) increases or D2 receptor-driven cAMP decreases. Here, we test the possibility that dopamine operates differently on retinal ganglion cells, because the ganglion cell layer binds D1 and D2 receptor ligands, and displays changes in signaling components other than cAMP under illumination that should release dopamine. In adult rat retinal ganglion cells, based on patch-clamp recordings, Ca2+ imaging, and immunohistochemistry, we find that 1) spike firing is inhibited by dopamine and SKF 83959 (an agonist that does not activate homomeric D1 receptors or alter cAMP levels in other systems); 2) D1 and D2 receptor antagonists (SCH 23390, eticlopride, raclopride) counteract these effects; 3) these antagonists also block light-induced rises in cAMP, light-induced activation of Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II, and dopamine-induced Ca2+ influx; and 4) the Ca2+ rise is markedly reduced by removing extracellular Ca2+ and by an IP3 receptor antagonist (2-APB). These results provide the first evidence that dopamine activates a receptor in adult mammalian retinal neurons that is distinct from classical D1 and D2 receptors, and that dopamine can activate mechanisms in addition to cAMP and cAMP-dependent protein kinase to modulate retinal ganglion cell excitability.
retina; immunohistochemistry; dopamine; cAMP; CaMKII; Ca2+; excitability
The erythrocyte, a cell responsible for carrying and delivering oxygen in the body, has often been regarded as simply a vehicle for the circulation of hemoglobin. However, it has become evident that this cell also participates in the regulation of vascular caliber in the microcirculation via release of the potent vasodilator, adenosine triphosphate (ATP). The regulated release of ATP from erythrocytes occurs via a defined signaling pathway and requires increases in cyclic 3’ 5’ adenosine monophosphate (cAMP). It is well recognized that cAMP is a critical second messenger in diverse signaling pathways. In all cells increases in cAMP are localized and regulated by the activity of phosphodiesterases (PDEs). In erythrocytes activation of either β adrenergic receptors (β 2AR) or the prostacyclin receptor (IPR) results in increases in cAMP and ATP release. Receptor-mediated increases in cAMP are tightly regulated by distinct PDEs associated with each signaling pathway as shown by the finding that selective inhibitors of the PDEs localized to each pathway potentiate both increases in cAMP and ATP release. Here we review the profile of PDEs identified in erythrocytes, their association with specific signaling pathways and their role in the regulation of ATP release from these cells. Understanding the contribution of PDEs to the control of ATP release from erythrocytes identifies this cell as a potential target for the development of drugs for the treatment of vascular disease.
erythrocyte; isoproterenol; iloprost; phosphodiesterases; cyclic nucleotides; adenosine triphosphate
Serotonin and dopamine, both likely transmitter substances in Aplysia, stimulated formation of adenosine-3',5' monophosphate (cAMP) in ganglia, connectives, and identified nerve cell bodies. This widespread distribution suggests that receptors for the response are localized throughout the nervous system, as is adenyl cyclase. Both synthesis of cAMP-3H from precursor previously labeled in incubations with adenine-3H and total content of cAMP were stimulated up to 15-fold. The acetylcholine analogue carbachol, glutamate, norepinephrine, and histamine were inactive. Full stimulation occurred within 2–4 min of applying serotonin; the extent of the effect was half maximal at 6µ serotonin. Even in the continued presence of serotonin, the increased cAMP diminished with time. When serotonin was removed, tissue remained refractory for 15–20 min; sensitivity returned after 25 min. Serotonin stimulated cAMP after removal of extracellular Na, K, or Cl and in isotonic sucrose, with all extracellular ions removed. Elevating Mg, which blocked the stimulation of cAMP caused by synaptic activity, did not affect the response to serotonin. Thus the response appeared to be independent of transmitter release and of changes in synaptic potentials and current flow. The role of cAMP in neuronal functioning remains to be determined. Conditions which markedly increased cAMP in neurons, however, did not affect the rate of RNA synthesis, nor did they alter the distribution of phosphorylated adenine or uridine nucleotides.
Cardiac fibroblasts produce and degrade extracellular matrix and are critical in regulating cardiac remodeling and hypertrophy. Fibroblasts are activated by factors such as transforming growth factor β and inhibited by agents that elevate 3′,5′-cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) levels. cAMP signal generation and response is known to be compartmentalized in many cell types in part through the colocalization of receptors and specific adenylyl cyclase isoforms in lipid rafts and caveolae. The present study sought to define the localization of key G protein-coupled receptors with adenylyl cyclase type 6 (AC6) in lipid rafts of rat cardiac fibroblasts and to determine if this colocalization was functionally relevant. We found that cardiac fibroblasts produce cAMP in response to agonists for β-adrenergic (isoproterenol), prostaglandin EP2 (butaprost), adenosine (adenosine-5′-N-ethylcarboxamide, NECA), and prostacyclin (beraprost) receptors. Overexpression of AC6 increased cAMP production stimulated by isoproterenol and beraprost but not by butaprost or NECA. A key function of fibroblasts is the production of collagen. Isoproterenol- and beraprost-mediated inhibition of collagen synthesis was also enhanced by AC6 overexpression, while inhibition by butaprost and NECA were unaltered. Lipid raft fractions from cardiac fibroblasts contain the preponderance of β-adrenergic receptors and AC6 but exclude EP2 receptors. While we could not determine the localization of native prostacyclin receptors, we were able to determine that epitope-tagged prostanoid IP receptors (IPR) expressed in COS7 cells did localize, in part, in lipid raft fractions. These findings indicate that IP receptors are expressed in lipid rafts and can activate raft-localized AC isoforms. AC6 is completely compartmentized in lipid raft domains where it is activated solely by coresident G protein-coupled receptors to regulate cardiac fibroblast function.
Collagen; Fibrosis; Caveolae; PGI2; PGE2
Dopamine plays important roles in normal brain function and many neuropsychiatric disorders. Classically, dopamine receptors are positively coupled to G protein-mediated signaling to regulate cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP)–protein kinase A (PKA)–dopamine and cAMP-regulated phosphoprotein of 32 kDa (DARPP-32) and Ca2+ pathways. However, emerging evidence indicates that under hyperdopaminergic conditions, the protein kinase B (Akt)–glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK-3β) signaling cascade may mediate dopamine actions via D2-like receptors. This cAMP-independent signaling pathway involves the regulation of downstream synaptic targets, e.g., AMPA receptor, NMDA receptors, and thus synaptic plasticity. Here we provide an overview of how this novel signaling pathway relays dopamine receptor-mediated responses, particularly hyperdopamine-dependent behaviors. We discuss the relevance of the Akt/GSK-3β signaling cascade for the expression of dopamine-dependent behaviors and the drug actions associated with dopaminergic systems.
Hyperdopamine; Psychiatric disorders; Signal transduction; GPCR; Akt; GSK-3β
Carotid body chemoreceptors are essential for time-dependent changes in ventilatory control during chronic hypoxia. Early theories of ventilatory acclimatization to hypoxia focused on time-dependent changes in known ventilatory stimuli, such as small changes in arterial pH that may play a significant role in some species. However, plasticity in the cellular and molecular mechanisms of carotid body chemoreception play a major role in ventilatory acclimatization to hypoxia in all species studied. Chronic hypoxia causes changes in (a) ion channels (potassium, sodium, calcium) to increase glomus cell excitability, and (b) neurotransmitters (dopamine, acetylcholine, ATP) and neuromodulators (endothelin-1) to increase carotid body afferent activity for a given PO2 and optimize O2-sensitivity. O2-sensing heme-containing molecules in the carotid body have not been studied in chronic hypoxia. Plasticity in medullary respiratory centers processing carotid body afferent input also contributes to ventilatory acclimatization to hypoxia. It is not known if the same mechanisms occur in patients with chronic hypoxemia from lung disease or high altitude natives.
carotid body; hypoxic ventilatory response; neural plasticity; ventilatory acclimatization
Dopamine is present in the carotid body and has been postulated to be an inhibitory neurotransmitter. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of dopamine on ventilation in man and to examine its mechanism of action. Dopamine (0.5-10 μg/kg per min) was infused in eight normal men at different levels of arterial chemoreceptor activity, produced by varying the inspired Po2. During normoxia dopamine produced a small decrease in minute ventilation (V̇e) and an increase in arterial Pco2. When arterial chemoreceptors were stimulated by hypoxia, infusion of dopamine produced a marked initial depression of V̇e followed by a sustained although less pronounced decrease in V̇e. An increase in Paco2 and a decrease in Pao2 were also observed. When arterial chemoreceptor activity was suppressed by hyperoxia, infusion of dopamine did not affect ventilation. Subjects also breathed a hypercarbic, hyperoxic gas mixture. The hypercarbia produces hyperventilation by stimulating central chemoreceptors, whereas the hyperoxia suppresses peripheral chemoreceptors. Dopamine did not alter ventilation while the subjects were breathing this gas mixture.
These studies suggest that dopamine suppresses ventilation in man through an action on the arterial chemoreceptor reflex. These findings support the hypothesis that dopamine is an inhibitory neurotransmitter in the carotid body, and that release of dopamine may modulate the sensitivity of peripheral arterial chemoreceptors.
Chemoreceptors play an important role in the autonomic modulation of circulatory and ventilatory responses to changes in arterial O2 and/or CO2. However, studies evaluating hemodynamic responses to hypoxia and hypercapnia in rats have shown inconsistent results. Our aim was to evaluate hemodynamic and respiratory responses to different levels of hypoxia and hypercapnia in conscious intact or carotid body-denervated rats.
Male Wistar rats were submitted to bilateral ligature of carotid body arteries (or sham-operation) and received catheters into the left femoral artery and vein. After two days, each animal was placed into a plethysmographic chamber and, after baseline measurements of respiratory parameters and arterial pressure, each animal was subjected to three levels of hypoxia (15, 10 and 6% O2) and hypercapnia (10% CO2).
The results indicated that 15% O2 decreased the mean arterial pressure and increased the heart rate (HR) in both intact (n = 8) and carotid body-denervated (n = 7) rats. In contrast, 10% O2 did not change the mean arterial pressure but still increased the HR in intact rats, and it decreased the mean arterial pressure and increased the heart rate in carotid body-denervated rats. Furthermore, 6% O2 increased the mean arterial pressure and decreased the HR in intact rats, but it decreased the mean arterial pressure and did not change the HR in carotid body-denervated rats. The 3 levels of hypoxia increased pulmonary ventilation in both groups, with attenuated responses in carotid body-denervated rats. Hypercapnia with 10% CO2 increased the mean arterial pressure and decreased HR similarly in both groups. Hypercapnia also increased pulmonary ventilation in both groups to the same extent.
This study demonstrates that the hemodynamic and ventilatory responses varied according to the level of hypoxia. Nevertheless, the hemodynamic and ventilatory responses to hypercapnia did not depend on the activation of the peripheral carotid chemoreceptors.
Arterial Pressure; Heart Rate; Pulmonary Ventilation; Chemoreceptor Cells
We tested the hypothesis that antagonism of progesterone receptor (PR) in newborn rats alters carotid body and respiratory responses to hypoxia and nicotinic receptor agonists. Rats were treated with the PR antagonist mifepristone (daily oral gavage 40 μg/g/d) or vehicle between post-natal days 3 and 15. In 11–14-day-old rats, we used in vitro carotid body/carotid sinus nerve preparation and whole body plethysmography to assess the carotid body and ventilatory responses to hypoxia (65 mmHg in vitro, 10% O2 in vivo) and to nicotinic receptor agonists (as an excitatory modulator of carotid body activity—nicotine 100 μM for in vitro studies, and epibatidine 5 μg/kg, i.p., which mainly acts on peripheral nicotinic receptors, for in vivo studies). The carotid body responses to hypoxia and nicotine were drastically reduced by mifepristone. Compared with vehicle, mifepristone-treated rats had a reduced body weight. The ventilatory response to epibatidine was attenuated; however, the hypoxic ventilatory response was similar between vehicle and mifepristone-treated pups. Immunohistochemical staining revealed that mifepristone treatment did not change carotid body morphology. We conclude that PR activity is a critical factor ensuring proper carotid body function in newborn rats.
PMID: 22326965 CAMSID: cams3224
carotid sinus nerve; whole-body plethysmography; hypoxia; nicotine receptor agonist; progesterone receptor antagonist; newborn
The authors report the characterization of a novel cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP)–responsive luciferase (Luc) reporter that exhibits optimal performance in high-throughput screens of agonist binding at G protein–coupled receptors (GPCRs). This reporter (RIP1-CRE-Luc) incorporates a nonpalindromic cAMP response element (CRE) originally identified within the 5′ promoter of the rat insulin 1 gene (RIP1). When multimerized and fused to the coding sequence of firefly luciferase, the CRE of RIP1 allows for the efficient activation of luciferase expression by cAMP-elevating agents or by cAMP itself. Of primary importance is the demonstration that RIP1-CRE-Luc does not exhibit the relatively high levels of basal luciferase activity inherent to reporters incorporating the palindromic CRE first identified in the somatostatin gene promoter. Furthermore, studies of HEK cells expressing class II GPCRs for the cAMP-elevating hormones GLP-1, GIP, and glucagon demonstrate that RIP1-CRE-Luc affords a much wider dynamic range of activation upon exposure to agonist. Such properties of RIP1-CRE-Luc indicate its usefulness as a new and powerful tool for the identification of small-molecule compounds with receptor-stimulating actions or for the identification of constitutively active orphan receptors with cAMP-signaling properties.
cAMP response element; luciferase reporter; G protein–coupled receptor; drug discovery; high-throughput screen
Nerve growth factor (NGF)-mediated neurite outgrowth in rat pheochromocytoma PC12 cells has been described to be synergistically potentiated by the simultaneous addition of dibutyryl cAMP. To elucidate further the role of cAMP in NGF-induced neurite outgrowth we have used the adenylate cyclase activator forskolin, cAMP, and a set of chemically modified cAMP analogues, including the adenosine cyclic 3',5'-phosphorothioates (cAMPS) (Rp)-cAMPS and (Sp)-cAMPS. These diastereomers have differential effects on the activation of cAMP- dependent protein kinases, i.e., (Sp)-cAMPS behaves as a cAMP agonist and (Rp)-cAMPS behaves as a cAMP antagonist. Our data show that the establishment of a neuritic network, as observed from PC12 cells treated with NGF alone, could not be induced by either forskolin, cAMP, or cAMP analogues alone. The presence of NGF in combination with forskolin or cAMP or its agonistic analogues potentiated the initiation of neurite outgrowth from PC12 cells. The (Sp)-cAMPS-induced stimulation of NGF-mediated process formation was successfully blocked by the (Rp)-cAMPS diastereomer. On the other hand, NGF-stimulated neurite outgrowth was not inhibited by the presence of the cAMP antagonist (Rp)-cAMPS. We conclude that the morphological differentiation of PC12 cells stimulated by NGF does not require cAMP as a second messenger. The constant increase of intracellular cAMP, caused by either forskolin or cAMP and the analogues, in combination with NGF, not only rapidly stimulated early neurite outgrowth but also exerted a maintaining effect on the neuronal network established by NGF.
3′-5′-cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) and 3′-5′-cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) are intracellular second messengers involved in heart pathophysiology. cGMP can potentially affect cAMP signals via cGMP-regulated phosphodiesterases (PDEs).
To study the effect of cGMP signals on the local cAMP response to catecholamines in specific subcellular compartments.
Methods and results
We used real-time FRET imaging of living rat ventriculocytes expressing targeted cAMP and cGMP biosensors to detect cyclic nucleotides levels in specific locales. We found that the compartmentalized, but not the global, cAMP response to isoproterenol is profoundly affected by cGMP signals. The effect of cGMP is to increase cAMP levels in the compartment where the PKA-RI isoforms reside but to decrease cAMP in the compartment where the PKA-RII isoforms reside. These opposing effects are determined by the cGMP-regulated PDEs, namely PDE2 and PDE3, with the local activity of these PDEs being critically important. The cGMP-mediated modulation of cAMP also affects the phosphorylation of PKA targets and myocyte contractility.
cGMP signals exert opposing effects on local cAMP levels via different PDEs the activity of which is exerted in spatially distinct subcellular domains. Inhibition of PDE2 selectively abolishes the negative effects of cGMP on cAMP and may have therapeutic potential.
cAMP; cGMP; ANP; nitric oxide; signal transduction
Regulation of intracellular cyclic adenosine 3′,5′-mono-phosphate (cAMP) is integral in mediating cell growth, cell differentiation, and immune responses in hematopoietic cells. To facilitate studies of cAMP regulation we developed a BRET (bioluminescence resonance energy transfer) sensor for cAMP, CAMYEL (cAMP sensor using YFP-Epac-RLuc), which can quantitatively and rapidly monitor intracellular concentrations of cAMP in vivo. This sensor was used to characterize three distinct pathways for modulation of cAMP synthesis stimulated by presumed Gs-dependent receptors for isoproterenol and prostaglandin E2. Whereas two ligands, uridine 5′-diphosphate and complement C5a, appear to use known mechanisms for augmentation of cAMP via Gq/calcium and Gi, the action of sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) is novel. In these cells, S1P, a biologically active lysophospholipid, greatly enhances increases in intracellular cAMP triggered by the ligands for Gs-coupled receptors while having only a minimal effect by itself. The enhancement of cAMP by S1P is resistant to pertussis toxin and independent of intracellular calcium. Studies with RNAi and chemical perturbations demonstrate that the effect of S1P is mediated by the S1P2 receptor and the heterotrimeric G13 protein. Thus in these macrophage cells, all four major classes of G proteins can regulate intracellular cAMP.
DARPP-32 (dopamine and adenosine 3′, 5′-cyclic monophosphate cAMP-regulated phosphoprotein, 32 kDa) is a striatal-enriched protein that mediates signaling by dopamine and other first messengers in the medium spiny neurons. The transcriptional mechanisms that regulate striatal DARPP-32 expression remain enigmatic and are a subject of much interest in the efforts to induce a striatal phenotype in stem cells. We report the identification and characterization of a conserved region, also known as H10, in intron IV of the gene that codes for DARPP-32 (Ppp1r1b). This DNA sequence forms multiunit complexes with nuclear proteins from adult and embryonic striata of mice and rats. Purification of proteins from these complexes identified early growth response-1 (Egr-1). The interaction between Egr-1 and H10 was confirmed in vitro and in vivo by super-shift and chromatin immunoprecipitation assays, respectively. Importantly, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a known inducer of DARPP-32 and Egr-1 expression, enhanced Egr-1 binding to H10 in vitro. Moreover, overexpression of Egr-1 in primary striatal neurons induced the expression of DARPP-32, whereas a dominant-negative Egr-1 blocked DARPP-32 induction by BDNF. Together, this study identifies Egr-1 as a transcriptional activator of the Ppp1r1b gene and provides insight into the molecular mechanisms that regulate medium spiny neuron maturation.
The mammalian eye is protected against pathogens and inflammation in a relatively immune-privileged environment. Stringent mechanisms are activated that regulate external injury, infection, and autoimmunity. The eye contains a variety of cells expressing vasoactive neuropeptides (VNs), and their receptors, located in the sclera, cornea, iris, ciliary body, ciliary process, and the retina. VNs are important activators of adenylate cyclase, deriving cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) from adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Impairment of VN function would arguably impede cAMP production and impede utilization of ATP. Thus VN autoimmunity may be an etiological factor in retinopathy involving perturbations of purinergic signaling. A sound blood supply is necessary for the existence and functional properties of the retina. This paper postulates that impairments in the endothelial barriers and the blood–retinal barrier, as well as certain inflammatory responses, may arise from disruption to VN function. Phosphodiesterase inhibitors and purinergic modulators may have a role in the treatment of postulated VN autoimmune retinopathy.
retinopathy; autoimmune; vasoactive neuropeptides; phosphodiesterase inhibitors
In bluegill sunfish, the melanin-containing pigment granules of the retinal pigment epithelium undergo cyclic movements in response both to ambient lighting and circadian cues. Pigment granules aggregate into the cell body at night (in the dark), and disperse into apical processes during the day (in the light). Regulation of pigment granule aggregation in a number of fishes depends on modulating the intracellular levels of cyclic adenosine monophosphate.
Here we show isolated RPE takes up cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) in a saturable manner, exogenously applied cAMP induces pigment granule aggregation in retinal pigment epithelium isolated from bluegill, and aggregation induced in this manner is inhibited by treatment with probenecid, an organic anion transport inhibitor.
Our results raise the possibility that cAMP functions as a messenger secreted from the neural retina to signal darkness to the RPE, which takes it up. It further suggests that organic anion transport systems are the route by which cAMP crosses RPE cell membranes since probenecid inhibits extracellular cAMP from causing pigment granule aggregation.
Carotid bodies (CBs) are secondary sensory receptors in which the sensing elements, chemoreceptor cells, are activated by decreases in arterial PO2 (hypoxic hypoxia). Upon activation, chemoreceptor cells (also known as Type I and glomus cells) increase their rate of release of neurotransmitters that drive the sensory activity in the carotid sinus nerve (CSN) which ends in the brain stem where reflex responses are coordinated. When challenged with hypoxic hypoxia, the physiopathologically most relevant stimulus to the CBs, they are activated and initiate ventilatory and cardiocirculatory reflexes. Reflex increase in minute volume ventilation promotes CO2 removal from alveoli and a decrease in alveolar PCO2 ensues. Reduced alveolar PCO2 makes possible alveolar and arterial PO2 to increase minimizing the intensity of hypoxia. The ventilatory effect, in conjunction the cardiocirculatory components of the CB chemoreflex, tend to maintain an adequate supply of oxygen to the tissues. The CB has been the focus of attention since the discovery of its nature as a sensory organ by de Castro (1928) and the discovery of its function as the origin of ventilatory reflexes by Heymans group (1930). A great deal of effort has been focused on the study of the mechanisms involved in O2 detection. This review is devoted to this topic, mechanisms of oxygen sensing. Starting from a summary of the main theories evolving through the years, we will emphasize the nature and significance of the findings obtained with veratridine and tetrodotoxin (TTX) in the genesis of current models of O2-sensing.
carotid body; O2-sensing; tetrodotoxin; TTX; veratridine; dihydropyridine; catecholamine
G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are involved in various physiological processes, such as behavior changes, mood alteration, and regulation of immune-system activity. Thus, GPCRs are popular targets in drug screening, and a well-designed assay can speed up the discovery of novel drug candidates. The Promega cAMP-Glo Assay is a homogenous bioluminescent assay to monitor changes in intracellular cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) concentrations in response to the effect of an agonist, antagonist, or test compound on GPCRs. Together with the Labcyte Echo 555 acoustic liquid handler and the Deerac Fluidics Equator HTS reagent dispenser, this setup can screen compounds in 96-, 384-, and 1536-well formats for their effects on GPCRs. Here, we describe our optimization of the cAMP-Glo assay in 1536-well format, validate the pharmacology, and assess the assay robustness for HTS. We have successfully demonstrated the use of the assay in primary screening applications of known agonist and antagonist compounds, and confirmed the primary hits via secondary screening. Implementing a high-throughput miniaturized GPCR assay as demonstrated here allows effective screening for potential drug candidates.
GPCR; HTS; bioluminescence; instrumentation
The angiotensin II (AngII) receptor subtype 2 (AT2R) is expressed in sensory neurons and may play a role in nociception and neuronal regeneration.
We used immunostaining with characterized antibodies to study the localization of AT2R in cultured human and rat dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons and a range of human tissues. The effects of AngII and AT2R antagonist EMA401 on capsaicin responses in cultured human and rat (DRG) neurons were measured with calcium imaging, on neurite length and density with Gap43 immunostaining, and on cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) expression using immunofluorescence.
AT2R expression was localized in small-/medium-sized cultured neurons of human and rat DRG. Treatment with the AT2R antagonist EMA401 resulted in dose-related functional inhibition of capsaicin responses (IC50 = 10 nmol/L), which was reversed by 8-bromo-cAMP, and reduced neurite length and density; AngII treatment significantly enhanced capsaicin responses, cAMP levels and neurite outgrowth. The AT1R antagonist losartan had no effect on capsaicin responses. AT2R was localized in sensory neurons of human DRG, and nerve fibres in peripheral nerves, skin, urinary bladder and bowel. A majority sub-population (60%) of small-/medium-diameter neuronal cells were immunopositive in both control post-mortem and avulsion-injured human DRG; some very small neurons appeared to be intensely immunoreactive, with TRPV1 co-localization. While AT2R levels were reduced in human limb peripheral nerve segments proximal to injury, they were preserved in painful neuromas.
AT2R antagonists could be particularly useful in the treatment of chronic pain and hypersensitivity associated with abnormal nerve sprouting.
Hypothyroidism can lead to depressed breathing. We determined if propylthiouracil (PTU)–induced hypothyroidism in hamsters (HH) altered dopamine D1 receptor expression, D1 receptor-modulated ventilation, and ventilatory chemoreflex activation by hypoxia or hypercapnia. Hypothyroidism was induced by administering 0.04% PTU in drinking water for three months. Ventilation was evaluated following saline or 0.25 mg/kg SCH 23390, a D1 receptor antagonist, while awake hamsters breathed normoxic (21% O2 in N2), hypoxic (10% O2 in N2) and hypercapnic (5% CO2 in O2) air. Relative to euthyroid hamsters (EH), HH exhibited decreased D1 receptor protein levels in carotid bodies, striatum, and hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus, but not in the nucleus tractus solitarius. Relative to EH, HH exhibited lower ventilation during exposure to normoxia, hypoxia, or hypercapnia, but comparable ventilatory responsiveness to chemoreflex activation. SCH 23390 decreased ventilation of EH hamsters exposed to normoxia, hypoxia, and hypercapnia. In HH SCH 23390 increased ventilation during baseline normoxia and did not affect ventilation during exposure to hypoxia and hypercapnia, resulting in reduced ventilatory responsivess to chemoreflex activation by hypoxia and hypercapnia. Furthermore, in HH D1 receptor protein levels are decreased in several brain regions and within the carotid bodies. Moreover, D1 receptor-modulation of breathing at rest and during gas exposures were depressed in EH but not HH.
hypothyroidism; carotid body PVN; NTS; hypoxia; hypercapnia; SCH 23390; propylthiouracil
G-protein-coupled receptors sense extracellular chemical or physical stimuli and transmit these signals to distinct trimeric G-proteins. Activated Gα-proteins route signals to interconnected effector cascades, thus regulating thresholds, amplitudes and durations of signalling. Gαs- or Gαi-coupled receptor cascades are mechanistically conserved and mediate many sensory processes, including synaptic transmission, cell proliferation and chemotaxis. Here we show that a central, conserved component of Gαs-coupled receptor cascades, the regulatory subunit type-II (RII) of protein kinase A undergoes adenosine 3′-5′-cyclic monophosphate (cAMP)-dependent binding to Gαi. Stimulation of a mammalian Gαi-coupled receptor and concomitant cAMP-RII binding to Gαi, augments the sensitivity, amplitude and duration of Gαi:βγ activity and downstream mitogen-activated protein kinase signalling, independent of protein kinase A kinase activity. The mechanism is conserved in budding yeast, causing nutrient-dependent modulation of a pheromone response. These findings suggest a direct mechanism by which coincident activation of Gαs-coupled receptors controls the precision of adaptive responses of activated Gαi-coupled receptor cascades.
G-protein-coupled receptors sense extracellular cues and transmit the signal to distinct trimeric G-proteins. Stefan et al. show that in response to cAMP, a central and conserved component of the Gαs-coupled receptor cascade, the RII subunit of PKA, specifically binds to and participates in Gαi signaling.
Cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) has been implicated in the execution of diverse rhythmic behaviors, but how cAMP functions in neurons to generate behavioral outputs remains unclear. During the defecation motor program in C. elegans, a peptide released from the pacemaker (the intestine) rhythmically excites the GABAergic neurons that control enteric muscle contractions by activating a G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) signaling pathway that is dependent on cAMP. Here, we show that the C. elegans PKA catalytic subunit, KIN-1, is the sole cAMP target in this pathway and that PKA is essential for enteric muscle contractions. Genetic analysis using cell-specific expression of dominant negative or constitutively active PKA transgenes reveals that knockdown of PKA activity in the GABAergic neurons blocks enteric muscle contractions, whereas constitutive PKA activation restores enteric muscle contractions to mutants defective in the peptidergic signaling pathway. Using real-time, in vivo calcium imaging, we find that PKA activity in the GABAergic neurons is essential for the generation of synaptic calcium transients that drive GABA release. In addition, constitutively active PKA increases the duration of calcium transients and causes ectopic calcium transients that can trigger out-of-phase enteric muscle contractions. Finally, we show that the voltage-gated calcium channels UNC-2 and EGL-19, but not CCA-1 function downstream of PKA to promote enteric muscle contractions and rhythmic calcium influx in the GABAergic neurons. Thus, our results suggest that PKA activates neurons during a rhythmic behavior by promoting presynaptic calcium influx through specific voltage-gated calcium channels.
Breathing, walking and sleeping, are examples of rhythmic behaviors that occur at regular time intervals. The time intervals are determined by pacemakers, which generate the rhythms, and the behaviors are carried out by different tissues such as neurons and muscles. How do timing signals from pacemakers get delivered to target tissues to ensure proper execution of these behaviors? To begin to address this question, we study a simple rhythmic behavior in the nematode C. elegans called the defecation motor program. In this behavior, enteric muscles contract every 50 seconds, allowing digested food to be expelled from the gut. The pacemaker is the gut itself, and here we identify a specific protein, PKA, that responds to the signal from the pacemaker by activating certain neurons that trigger enteric muscle contraction. We further demonstrate that PKA activates these neurons by controlling the entry of calcium into these neurons. We also identify two calcium channels that allow calcium to enter the neurons when PKA is activated by the signal from the pacemaker. Our results raise the possibility that PKA-mediated calcium entry might be a mechanism used in other organisms to regulate rhythmic behaviors.
The carotid body is essential to detecting levels of oxygen in the blood and initiating the compensatory response. Increasing evidence suggests that the purines ATP and adenosine make a key contribution to this signaling by the carotid body. The glomus cells release ATP in response to hypoxia. This released ATP can stimulate P2X receptors on the carotid body to elevate intracellular Ca2+ and to produce an excitatory response. This released ATP can also be dephosphorylated to adenosine by a series of extracellular enzymes, which in turn can stimulate A1, A2A and A2B adenosine receptors. Levels of extracellular adenosine can also be altered by membrane transporters. Endogenous adenosine stimulates these receptors to increase the ventilation rate and may modulate the catecholamine release from the carotid sinus nerve. Prolonged hypoxic challenge can alter the expression of purinergic receptors, suggesting a role in the adaptation. This review discusses evidence for a key role of ATP and adenosine in the hypoxic response of the carotid body, and emphasizes areas of new contributions likely to be important in the future.
carotid body; glomus cells; hypoxia; purines; ATP release; neurotransmitter; ion channels, oxygen sensing; P1 receptors; P2 receptors
Extensive evidence indicates that stress hormone effects on the consolidation of emotionally influenced memory involve noradrenergic activation of the basolateral complex of the amygdala (BLA). The present experiments examined whether corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) modulates memory consolidation via an interaction with the β-adrenoceptor-adenosine 3′,5′-cyclic monophosphate (cAMP) system in the BLA. In a first experiment, male Sprague-Dawley rats received bilateral infusions of the CRF-binding protein ligand inhibitor CRF6-33 into the BLA either alone or together with the CRF receptor antagonist α-helical CRF9-41 immediately after inhibitory avoidance training. CRF6-33 induced dose-dependent enhancement of 48-h retention latencies, which was blocked by co-administration of α-helical CRF9-41, suggesting that CRF6-33 enhances memory consolidation by displacing CRF from its binding protein, thereby increasing ‘free’ endogenous CRF concentrations. In a second experiment, intra-BLA infusions of atenolol (β-adrenoceptor antagonist) and Rp-cAMPS (cAMP inhibitor), but not prazosin (α1-adrenoceptor antagonist), blocked CRF6-33-induced retention enhancement. In a third experiment, the CRF receptor antagonist α-helical CRF9-41 administered into the BLA immediately after training attenuated the dose-response effects of concurrent intra-BLA infusions of clenbuterol (β-adrenoceptor agonist). In contrast, α-helical CRF9-41 did not alter retention enhancement induced by posttraining intra-BLA infusions of either cirazoline (α1-adrenoceptor agonist) or 8-br-cAMP (cAMP analog). These findings suggest that CRF facilitates the memory-modulatory effects of noradrenergic stimulation in the BLA via an interaction with the β-adrenoceptor-cAMP cascade, at a locus between the membrane-bound β-adrenoceptor and the intracellular cAMP formation site. Moreover, consistent with evidence that glucocorticoids enhance memory consolidation via a similar interaction with the β-adrenoceptor-cAMP cascade, a last experiment found that the CRF and glucocorticoid systems within the BLA interact in influencing β-adrenoceptor-cAMP effects on memory consolidation.
α-helical CRF9-41; atenolol; CRF; CRF6-33; CRF-binding protein; corticosterone; emotional arousal; norepinephrine; inhibitory avoidance
Studies on the crisp-1 (cr-1), cyclic adenosine 3',5'-monophosphate (cAMP)-deficient mutants of Neurospora crassa were undertaken to characterize the response of these mutants to exogenous cyclic nucleotides and cyclic nucleotide analogs. A growth tube bioassay and a radioimmune assay for cyclic nucleotides yielded the following results. (i) 8-Bromo cAMP and N6-monobutyryl cAMP but not dibutyryl cAMP are efficient cAMP analogs in Neurospora, stimulating mycelial elongation of the cr-1 mutants. Exogenous cyclic guanosine 3'5'-monophosphate (cGMP) also stimulates such mycelial elongation. (ii) Both cAMP levels and cGMP levels found in cr-1 mycelia are lower than those in wild type. However, the levels of both cyclic nucleotides are normal in conidia of cr-1. The data on cr-1 mycelia and those reported earlier in Escherichia coli (M. Shibuya, Y. Takebe, and Y. Kaziro (Cell 12:528-528, 1977) show a previously unexpected relationship between cAMP and cGMP metabolism in microorganisms. The semicolonial morphology of another adenylate cyclase-deficient mutant of Neurospora, frost, was not corrected by exogenous cyclic nucleotides or by phosphodiesterase inhibitors indicating that the frost morphology is probably not caused by low endogenous cAMP levels. The low adenylate cyclase activity and the abnormal morphology of frost may be related separately to the linolenate deficiency reported in the mutant.