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(1/2312) The optically determined size of exo/endo cycling vesicle pool correlates with the quantal content at the neuromuscular junction of Drosophila larvae.

According to the current theory of synaptic transmission, the amplitude of evoked synaptic potentials correlates with the number of synaptic vesicles released at the presynaptic terminals. Synaptic vesicles in presynaptic boutons constitute two distinct pools, namely, exo/endo cycling and reserve pools (). We defined the vesicles that were endocytosed and exocytosed during high K+ stimulation as the exo/endo cycling vesicle pool. To determine the role of exo/endo cycling vesicle pool in synaptic transmission, we estimated the quantal content electrophysiologically, whereas the pool size was determined optically using fluorescent dye FM1-43. We then manipulated the size of the pool with following treatments. First, to change the state of boutons of nerve terminals, motoneuronal axons were severed. With this treatment, the size of exo/endo cycling vesicle pool decreased together with the quantal content. Second, we promoted the FM1-43 uptake using cyclosporin A, which inhibits calcineurin activities and enhances endocytosis. Cyclosporin A increased the total uptake of FM1-43, but neither the size of exo/endo cycling vesicle pool nor the quantal content changed. Third, we increased the size of exo/endo cycling vesicle pool by forskolin, which enhances synaptic transmission. The forskolin treatment increased both the size of exo/endo cycling vesicle pool and the quantal content. Thus, we found that the quantal content was closely correlated with the size of exo/endo cycling vesicle pool but not necessarily with the total uptake of FM1-43 fluorescence by boutons. The results suggest that vesicles in the exo/endo cycling pool primarily participate in evoked exocytosis of vesicles.  (+info)

(2/2312) Luteinizing hormone inhibits conversion of pregnenolone to progesterone in luteal cells from rats on day 19 of pregnancy.

We have previously reported that intrabursal ovarian administration of LH at the end of pregnancy in rats induces a decrease in luteal progesterone (P4) synthesis and an increase in P4 metabolism. However, whether this local luteolytic effect of LH is exerted directly on luteal cells or on other structures, such as follicular or stromal cells, to modify luteal function is unknown. The aim of the present study was to determine the effect of LH on isolated luteal cells obtained on Day 19 of pregnancy. Incubation of luteal cells with 1, 10, 100, or 1000 ng/ml of ovine LH (oLH) for 6 h did not modify basal P4 production. The addition to the culture medium of 22(R)-hydroxycholesterol (22R-HC, 10 microgram/ml), a membrane-permeable P4 precursor, or pregnenolone (10(-2) microM) induced a significant increase in P4 accumulation in the medium in relation to the control value. When luteal cells were preincubated for 2 h with oLH, a significant (p < 0.01) reduction in the 22R-HC- or pregnenolone-stimulated P4 accumulation was observed. Incubation of luteal cells with dibutyryl cAMP (1 mM, a cAMP analogue) plus isobutylmethylxanthine (1 mM, a phosphodiesterase inhibitor) also inhibited pregnenolone-stimulated P4 accumulation. Incubation with an inositol triphosphate synthesis inhibitor, neomycin (1 mM), or an inhibitor of intracellular Ca2+ mobilization, (8,9-N, N-diethylamino)octyl-3,4,5-trimethoxybenzoate (1 mM), did not prevent the decrease in pregnenolone-stimulated P4 secretion induced by oLH. It was concluded that the luteolytic action of LH in late pregnancy is due, at least in part, to a direct action on the luteal cells and that an increase in intracellular cAMP level might mediate this effect.  (+info)

(3/2312) D-Aspartate stimulation of testosterone synthesis in rat Leydig cells.

D-Aspartate increases human chorionic gonadotropin-induced testosterone production in purified rat Leydig cells. L-Aspartate, D-,L-glutamate or D-,L-asparagine could not substitute for D-aspartate and this effect was independent of glutamate receptor activation. Testosterone production was enhanced only in cells cultured with D-aspartate for more than 3 h. The increased production of testosterone was well correlated with the amounts of D-aspartate incorporated into the Leydig cells, and L-cysteine sulfinic acid, an inhibitor of D-aspartate uptake, suppressed both testosterone production and intracellular D-aspartate levels. D-Aspartate therefore is presumably taken up into cells to increase steroidogenesis. Intracellular D-aspartate probably acts on cholesterol translocation into the inner mitochondrial membrane, the rate-limiting process in steroidogenesis.  (+info)

(4/2312) Overexpression of nucleoside diphosphate kinases induces neurite outgrowth and their substitution to inactive forms leads to suppression of nerve growth factor- and dibutyryl cyclic AMP-induced effects in PC12D cells.

Whether nucleoside diphosphate kinase (NDPK) is involved in neuronal differentiation was investigated with special reference to its enzyme activity. Neurite outgrowth of PC12D cells induced by nerve growth factor or a cyclic AMP analog was suppressed to some extent when inactive NDPKs (the active site histidine 118 was replaced with alanine), not active forms, were transiently overexpressed. This suppression was more definite in their stably expressed clones. NDPKbeta-transfected clones and, to a lesser extent, NDPKalpha-transfected clones, but not inactive NDPK-transfected clones, extended neurites without differentiation inducers. These results imply that NDPKs may play a role by exerting their enzyme activity during differentiation of PC12 cells.  (+info)

(5/2312) Posttranslational regulation of the retinoblastoma gene family member p107 by calpain protease.

The retinoblastoma protein plays a critical role in regulating the G1/S transition. Less is known about the function and regulation of the homologous pocket protein p107. Here we present evidence for the posttranslational regulation of p107 by the Ca2+-activated protease calpain. Three negative growth regulators, the HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor lovastatin, the antimetabolite 5-fluorouracil, and the cyclic nucleotide dibutyryl cAMP were found to induce cell type-specific loss of p107 protein which was reversible by the calpain inhibitor leucyl-leucyl-norleucinal but not by the serine protease inhibitor phenylmethylsulfonylfluoride, caspase inhibitors, or lactacystin, a specific inhibitor of the 26S proteasome. Purified calpain induced Ca2+-dependent p107 degradation in cell lysates. Transient expression of the specific calpain inhibitor calpastatin blocked the loss of p107 protein in lovastatin-treated cells, and the half-life of p107 was markedly lengthened in lovastatian-treated cells stably transfected with a calpastatin expression vector versus cells transfected with vector alone. The data presented here demonstrate down-regulation of p107 protein in response to various antiproliferative signals, and implicate calpain in p107 posttranslational regulation.  (+info)

(6/2312) Downregulation of JAK3 protein levels in T lymphocytes by prostaglandin E2 and other cyclic adenosine monophosphate-elevating agents: impact on interleukin-2 receptor signaling pathway.

The Janus kinase, JAK3 plays an important role in interleukin-2 (IL-2)-dependent signal transduction and proliferation of T lymphocytes. Our findings show that prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) can inhibit upregulation of JAK3 protein in naive T cells and can downregulate its expression in primed cells. Reduction in JAK3 was selective because expression of other tyrosine kinases (JAK1, p56(lck), and p59(fyn)) and signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT)5, which are linked to IL-2 receptor (IL-2R) signaling pathway, were not affected. Inhibition of JAK3 may be controlled by intracellular cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) levels, as forskolin, a direct activator of adenylate cyclase and dibutyryl cAMP (dbcAMP), a membrane permeable analogue of cAMP suppressed JAK3 expression. Moreover, 3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine (IBMX), an inhibitor of cAMP phosphodiesterase, potentiated PGE2-induced suppression of JAK3. In naive T cells, but not primed T cells, PGE2 and other cAMP elevating agents also caused a modest reduction in surface expression of the common gamma chain (gammac) that associates with JAK3. The absence of JAK3, but not IL-2R in T cells correlated with impaired IL-2-dependent signal transduction and proliferation. The alteration in IL-2 signaling included decreased tyrosine phosphorylation and DNA binding activity of STAT5 and poor induction of the c-Myc and c-Jun pathways. In contrast, IL-2-dependent induction of Bcl-2 was unaffected. These findings suggest that suppression of JAK3 levels may represent one mechanism by which PGE2 and other cAMP elevating agents can inhibit T-cell proliferation.  (+info)

(7/2312) cAMP-dependent induction of PDE5 expression in murine neuroblastoma cell differentiation.

The present study demonstrates, in both hybrid NG108-15 and mouse neuroblastoma N18TG2 cells, the presence and regulation of PDE5 mRNA during cell differentiation. PDE5 cDNA probes in Northern blot analysis recognize a approximately 9 kb transcript in bovine lung as well as in mouse neuroblastoma cells. Hybridization on total RNA extracted from dibutyryl-cAMP-treated NG108-15 cells shows a 5-fold increase of PDE5 9 kb mRNA: such an increase is not observed in N18TG2 although we observed a similar increase in the enzymatic activity of both cell lines. Our data demonstrate that PDE5 gene expression can be regulated by cAMP and suggest the existence of a complex regulatory system for PDE5 activity.  (+info)

(8/2312) Caffeine does not inhibit substance P-evoked intracellular Ca2+ mobilization in rat salivary acinar cells.

We used the Ca2+-sensitive fluorescent dye fura 2, together with measurements of intracellular D-myo-inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate [Ins(1,4,5)P3], to assess the inhibitory effects of caffeine on signal transduction via G protein-coupled receptor pathways in isolated rat mandibular salivary acinar cells. ACh, norepinephrine (NE), and substance P (SP) all evoked substantial increases in the intracellular free Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i). Responses to ACh and NE were markedly inhibited by prior application of 20 mM caffeine. The inhibitory effect of caffeine was not reproduced by phosphodiesterase inhibition with IBMX or addition of cell-permeant dibutyryl cAMP. In contrast to the ACh and NE responses, the [Ca2+]i response to SP was unaffected by caffeine. Despite this, SP and ACh appeared to mobilize Ca2+ from a common intracellular pool. Measurements of agonist-induced changes in Ins(1,4,5)P3 levels confirmed that caffeine inhibited the stimulus-response coupling pathway at a point before Ins(1,4,5)P3 generation. Caffeine did not, however, inhibit [Ca2+]i responses evoked by direct activation of G proteins with 40 mM F-. These data show that caffeine inhibits G protein-coupled signal transduction in these cells at some element that is common to the muscarinic and alpha-adrenergic signaling pathways but is not shared by the SP signaling pathway. We suggest that this element might be a specific structural motif on the G protein-coupled muscarinic and alpha-adrenergic receptors.  (+info)