The latrophilin family: multiply spliced G protein-coupled receptors with differential tissue distribution.
Latrophilin is a brain-specific Ca2+-independent receptor of alpha-latrotoxin, a potent presynaptic neurotoxin. We now report the finding of two novel latrophilin homologues. All three latrophilins are unusual G protein-coupled receptors. They exhibit strong similarities within their lectin, olfactomedin and transmembrane domains but possess variable C-termini. Latrophilins have up to seven sites of alternative splicing; some splice variants contain an altered third cytoplasmic loop or a truncated cytoplasmic tail. Only latrophilin-1 binds alpha-latrotoxin; it is abundant in brain and is present in endocrine cells. Latrophilin-3 is also brain-specific, whereas latrophilin-2 is ubiquitous. Together, latrophilins form a novel family of heterogeneous G protein-coupled receptors with distinct tissue distribution and functions. (+info)
Evidence that neuroepithelial endocrine cells control the spontaneous tone in guinea pig tracheal preparations.
The hypothesis that neuroepithelial endocrine (NEE) cells control spontaneous tone in isolated guinea pig tracheal preparations was examined. Epithelium-denuded preparations were unable to develop a normal oscillating tone in 12% oxygen (corresponding to systemic arterial oxygen levels) and, instead, developed a strong, smooth tone, similar to the "classic" tone in 94% oxygen. Inhibition of the hydrogen peroxide-producing NADPH oxidase in the NEE cells by 20 microM diphenyleneiodonium chloride transformed, in intact preparations in 94% oxygen, the tone from a strong, smooth type to an oscillating tone of considerably less force. Similar experiments in denuded preparations showed no change of tone and no oscillations. After pretreatment with the catalase inhibitor 3-amino-1,2, 4-triazole (1 mM), addition of 2 mM hydrogen peroxide to intact preparations displaying the oscillating tone caused a transformation to a strong, smooth type. These findings support the hypothesis that the spontaneous tone in this preparation is largely controlled by the oxygen-sensing NEE cells. For the first time, previous findings on isolated cells can be linked to effects in intact tissue preparations. The results also suggest that the regulation by the NEE cells involves the release of powerful relaxing and contracting factors from the epithelium. (+info)
Cardiovascular, endocrine, and renal effects of urodilatin in normal humans.
Effects of urodilatin (5, 10, 20, and 40 ng. kg-1. min-1) infused over 2 h on separate study days were studied in eight normal subjects with use of a randomized, double-blind protocol. All doses decreased renal plasma flow (hippurate clearance, 13-37%) and increased fractional Li+ clearance (7-22%) and urinary Na+ excretion (by 30, 76, 136, and 99% at 5, 10, 20, and 40 ng. kg-1. min-1, respectively). Glomerular filtration rate did not increase significantly with any dose. The two lowest doses decreased cardiac output (7 and 16%) and stroke volume (10 and 20%) without changing mean arterial blood pressure and heart rate. The two highest doses elicited larger decreases in stroke volume (17 and 21%) but also decreased blood pressure (6 and 14%) and increased heart rate (15 and 38%), such that cardiac output remained unchanged. Hematocrit and plasma protein concentration increased with the three highest doses. The renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system was inhibited by the three lowest doses but activated by the hypotensive dose of 40 ng. kg-1. min-1. Plasma vasopressin increased by factors of up to 5 during infusion of the three highest doses. Atrial natriuretic peptide immunoreactivity (including urodilatin) and plasma cGMP increased dose dependently. The urinary excretion rate of albumin was elevated up to 15-fold (37 +/- 17 micrograms/min). Use of a newly developed assay revealed that baseline urinary urodilatin excretion rate was low (<10 pg/min) and that fractional excretion of urodilatin remained below 0.1%. The results indicate that even moderately natriuretic doses of urodilatin exert protracted effects on systemic hemodynamic, endocrine, and renal functions, including decreases in cardiac output and renal blood flow, without changes in arterial pressure or glomerular filtration rate, and that filtered urodilatin is almost completely removed by the renal tubules. (+info)
Hormonal changes in thalassaemia major.
Patients with severe thalassaemia major suffer endocrine and other abnormalities before their eventual death from iron overload due to repeated blood transfusions. The endocrine status of 31 thalassaemic patients aged 2-5 to 23 years was investigated. Exact data were available on the rate and duration of blood transfusion in all of them and in many the liver iron concentration was also known. Although the patients were euthyroid, the mean serum thyroxine level was significantly lower, and the mean thyrotrophic hormone level significantly higher, compared with the values found in normal children. Forty oral glucose tolerance tests with simultaneous insulin levels were performed in 19 children, of whom 5 developed symptomatic diabetes and one had impaired tolerance. Previous tests on all 6 patients were available and some showed raised insulin levels possibly due to insulin resistance. 2 patients had clinical hypoparathyroidism and are described. The parathyroid hormone levels determined by radioimmunoassay in 25 patients were below the mean for the age group in all and outside the reference range in 16. Nonfasting plasma calcium levels were not reduced. Puberty was delayed in some patients. Concentrations of luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) measured in urine from 7 girls and 5 boys showed considerable variation. In the boys there was an overall tendency for FSH and LH excretion to be low with regard to age, but with respect to puberty rating FSH exretions were normal or low and LH normal or raised. The girls showed a tendency for LH but not FSH excretion to be raised in relation to puberty rating. The severity of the endocrine changes was related to the degree of iron loading and is discussed in relation to previous work in which the iron loading has rarely been accurately indicated nor parathyroid status assessed. (+info)
A toxin to nervous, cardiac, and endocrine ERG K+ channels isolated from Centruroides noxius scorpion venom.
Toxins isolated from a variety of venoms are tools for probing the physiological function and structure of ion channels. The ether-a-go-go-related genes (erg) codify for the K+ channels (ERG), which are crucial in neurons and are impaired in human long-QT syndrome and Drosophila 'seizure' mutants. We have isolated a peptide from the scorpion Centruroides noxius Hoffmann that has no sequence homologies with other toxins, and demonstrate that it specifically inhibits (IC50=16+/-1 nM) only ERG channels of different species and distinct histogenesis. These results open up the possibility of investigating ERG channel structure-function relationships and novel pharmacological tools with potential therapeutic efficacy. (+info)
Breast growth and the urinary excretion of lactose during human pregnancy and early lactation: endocrine relationships.
Breast volume and morphology of eight subjects were measured before conception and at intervals throughout pregnancy until 1 month of lactation. Breast volume before conception ranged from 293 to 964 ml. At the end of pregnancy the volume of breast tissue had increased by 145+/-19 ml (mean+/-S.E.M., n = 13 breasts, range 12-227 ml) with a further increase to 211+/-16 ml (n = 12 breasts, range 129-320 ml) by 1 month of lactation. Urinary excretion of lactose increased at 22 weeks of pregnancy, signalling the capacity of the breast to synthesize lactose at this time. During pregnancy, both the change in breast volume and the change in cross-sectional area of the areola were related to the concentration of human placental lactogen in the plasma. The growth of the nipple and the rate of excretion of lactose were related to the concentration of prolactin in the plasma. During the first 3 days after birth, the rate of excretion of lactose was related to the rate of excretion of progesterone. There was no relationship between the growth of the breast during pregnancy and the amount of milk produced at 1 month of lactation. (+info)
Environmental occurrence, analysis, and toxicology of toxaphene compounds.
Toxaphene production, in quantities similar to those of polychlorinated biphenyls, has resulted in high toxaphene levels in fish from the Great Lakes and in Arctic marine mammals (up to 10 and 16 microg g-1 lipid). Because of the large variabiliity in total toxaphene data, few reliable conclusions can be drawn about trends or geographic differences in toxaphene concentrations. New developments in mass spectrometric detection using either negative chemical ionization or electron impact modes as well as in multidimensional gas chromatography recently have led researchers to suggest congener-specific approaches. Recently, several nomenclature systems have been developed for toxaphene compounds. Although all systems have specific advantages and limitations, it is suggested that an international body such as the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry make an attempt to obtain uniformity in the literature. Toxicologic information on individual chlorobornanes is scarce, but some reports have recently appeared. Neurotoxic effects of toxaphene exposure such as those on behavior and learning have been reported. Technical toxaphene and some individual congeners were found to be weakly estrogenic in in vitro test systems; no evidence for endocrine effects in vivo has been reported. In vitro studies show technical toxaphene and toxaphene congeners to be mutagenic. However, in vivo studies have not shown genotoxicity; therefore, a nongenotoxic mechanism is proposed. Nevertheless, toxaphene is believed to present a potential carcinogenic risk to humans. Until now, only Germany has established a legal tolerance level for toxaphene--0.1 mg kg-1 wet weight for fish. (+info)
A female case of Kallmann's syndrome.
A case of 20-year-old woman with hypogonadotropic hypogonadism and anosmia is reported, since very few female cases of Kallmann's syndrome have been reported so far in Japan. Three uncles on the father's side had no children. Height was 168 cm, and arm span 165 cm. The olfactory test revealed complete anosmia. Bone age was 13 year. Chromosome was 46 XX and normal karyotype. Basal levels of serum FSH, LH and estrogens (E1, E2 and E3) were low. Serum FSH and LH levels rose slightly only after LH-RH administration, and did not increase in clomiphene test. Plasma estrogens did not increase after daily injection of 150 IU of HMG for 3 successive days. The response of serum GH to arginine infusion was normal, while that to insulin-induced hypoglycemia was poor. (+info)