Intracellular sodium modulates the expression of angiotensin II subtype 2 receptor in PC12W cells. (1/10550)

Although the angiotensin II subtype 2 receptor (AT2-R) is expressed abundantly in the adrenal medulla, its physiological significance has not yet been determined. To obtain fundamental knowledge of the regulation of AT2-R expression in the adrenal medulla, we investigated the effects of modulating several ion channels on AT2-R expression in PC12W cells. Experiments were performed after 24 hours of serum depletion under subconfluent conditions. After 48 hours of treatment with various agonists or antagonists, the receptor density and mRNA level of AT2-Rs were quantified by 125I-[Sar1, Ile8]angiotensin II binding and Northern blot analysis. Ouabain (10 to 100 nmol/L) and insulin (10 to 100 nmol/L) dose-dependently increased receptor density and mRNA level. Analysis of the binding characteristics revealed that the ouabain-dependent increase in AT2-R levels was due to an increase in binding capacity without a change in the Kd value. These increases were blocked by lowering the Na+ concentration in the medium. A low concentration of the sodium ionophore monensin (10 nmol/L), the K+-channel blocker quinidine (10 micromol/L), and the ATP-sensitive K+-channel blockers tolbutamide (100 micromol/L) and glybenclamide (10 micromol/L) also significantly increased receptor density, but the ATP-sensitive K+-channel agonist cromakalim (100 micromol/L) decreased receptor density significantly (P<0.01). Nifedipine (10 micromol/L) decreased basal receptor density and completely blocked the increase in receptor density caused by these agents. The increase in receptor density caused by an increase in intracellular Na+ was accompanied by an increase in mRNA level, whereas the ATP-sensitive K+-channel blockers did not change mRNA level. Nifedipine slightly decreased mRNA level. These results suggest that AT2-R expression is sensitively regulated by intracellular cation levels. The change in intracellular Na+ level transcriptionally regulates AT2-R expression, whereas the K+-channel blocker-dependent upregulation appears to be at least in part posttranslational.  (+info)

Ionic currents underlying spontaneous action potentials in isolated cerebellar Purkinje neurons. (2/10550)

Acutely dissociated cell bodies of mouse Purkinje neurons spontaneously fired action potentials at approximately 50 Hz (25 degrees C). To directly measure the ionic currents underlying spontaneous activity, we voltage-clamped the cells using prerecorded spontaneous action potentials (spike trains) as voltage commands and used ionic substitution and selective blockers to isolate individual currents. The largest current flowing during the interspike interval was tetrodotoxin-sensitive sodium current (approximately -50 pA between -65 and -60 mV). Although the neurons had large voltage-dependent calcium currents, the net current blocked by cobalt substitution for calcium was outward at all times during spike trains. Thus, the electrical effect of calcium current is apparently dominated by rapidly activated calcium-dependent potassium currents. Under current clamp, all cells continued firing spontaneously (though approximately 30% more slowly) after block of T-type calcium current by mibefradil, and most cells continued to fire after block of all calcium current by cobalt substitution. Although the neurons possessed hyperpolarization-activated cation current (Ih), little current flowed during spike trains, and block by 1 mM cesium had no effect on firing frequency. The outward potassium currents underlying the repolarization of the spikes were completely blocked by 1 mM TEA. These currents deactivated quickly (<1 msec) after each spike. We conclude that the spontaneous firing of Purkinje neuron cell bodies depends mainly on tetrodotoxin-sensitive sodium current flowing between spikes. The high firing rate is promoted by large potassium currents that repolarize the cell rapidly and deactivate quickly, thus preventing strong hyperpolarization and restoring a high input resistance for subsequent depolarization.  (+info)

Allyl-containing sulfides in garlic increase uncoupling protein content in brown adipose tissue, and noradrenaline and adrenaline secretion in rats. (3/10550)

The effects of garlic supplementation on triglyceride metabolism were investigated by measurements of the degree of thermogenesis in interscapular brown adipose tissue (IBAT), and noradrenaline and adrenaline secretion in rats fed two types of dietary fat. In Experiment 1, rats were given isoenergetic high-fat diets containing either shortening or lard with or without garlic powder supplementation (8 g/kg of diet). After 28 d feeding, body weight, plasma triglyceride levels and the weights of perirenal adipose tissue and epididymal fat pad were significantly lower in rats fed diets supplemented with garlic powder than in those fed diets without garlic powder. The content of mitochondrial protein and uncoupling protein (UCP) in IBAT, and urinary noradrenaline and adrenaline excretion were significantly greater in rats fed a lard diet with garlic powder than in those fed the same diet without garlic. Other than adrenaline secretion, differences due to garlic were significant in rats fed shortening, also. In Experiment 2, the effects of various allyl-containing sulfides present in garlic on noradrenaline and adrenaline secretion were evaluated. Administration of diallyldisulfide, diallyltrisulfide and alliin, organosulfur compounds present in garlic, significantly increased plasma noradrenaline and adrenaline concentrations, whereas the administration of disulfides without allyl residues, diallylmonosulfide and S-allyl-L-cysteine did not increase adrenaline secretion. These results suggest that in rats, allyl-containing sulfides in garlic enhance thermogenesis by increasing UCP content in IBAT, and noradrenaline and adrenaline secretion.  (+info)

UCP4, a novel brain-specific mitochondrial protein that reduces membrane potential in mammalian cells. (4/10550)

Uncoupling proteins (UCPs) are a family of mitochondrial transporter proteins that have been implicated in thermoregulatory heat production and maintenance of the basal metabolic rate. We have identified and partially characterized a novel member of the human uncoupling protein family, termed uncoupling protein-4 (UCP4). Protein sequence analyses showed that UCP4 is most related to UCP3 and possesses features characteristic of mitochondrial transporter proteins. Unlike other known UCPs, UCP4 transcripts are exclusively expressed in both fetal and adult brain tissues. UCP4 maps to human chromosome 6p11.2-q12. Consistent with its potential role as an uncoupling protein, UCP4 is localized to the mitochondria and its ectopic expression in mammalian cells reduces mitochondrial membrane potential. These findings suggest that UCP4 may be involved in thermoregulatory heat production and metabolism in the brain.  (+info)

Obesity induces expression of uncoupling protein-2 in hepatocytes and promotes liver ATP depletion. (5/10550)

Uncoupling protein 2 (UCP2) uncouples respiration from oxidative phosphorylation and may contribute to obesity through effects on energy metabolism. Because basal metabolic rate is decreased in obesity, UCP2 expression is predicted to be reduced. Paradoxically, hepatic expression of UCP2 mRNA is increased in genetically obese (ob/ob) mice. In situ hybridization and immunohistochemical analysis of ob/ob livers demonstrate that UCP2 mRNA and protein expression are increased in hepatocytes, which do not express UCP2 in lean mice. Mitochondria isolated from ob/ob livers exhibit an increased rate of H+ leak which partially dissipates the mitochondrial membrane potential when the rate of electron transport is suppressed. In addition, hepatic ATP stores are reduced and these livers are more vulnerable to necrosis after transient hepatic ischemia. Hence, hepatocytes adapt to obesity by up-regulating UCP2. However, because this decreases the efficiency of energy trapping, the cells become vulnerable to ATP depletion when energy needs increase acutely.  (+info)

A glial-neuronal signaling pathway revealed by mutations in a neurexin-related protein. (6/10550)

In the nervous system, glial cells greatly outnumber neurons but the full extent of their role in determining neural activity remains unknown. Here the axotactin (axo) gene of Drosophila was shown to encode a member of the neurexin protein superfamily secreted by glia and subsequently localized to axonal tracts. Null mutations of axo caused temperature-sensitive paralysis and a corresponding blockade of axonal conduction. Thus, the AXO protein appears to be a component of a glial-neuronal signaling mechanism that helps to determine the membrane electrical properties of target axons.  (+info)

Cloning of a stretch-inhibitable nonselective cation channel. (7/10550)

A homologue of the capsaicin receptor-nonselective cation channel was cloned from the rat kidney to investigate a mechanosensitive channel. We found this channel to be inactivated by membrane stretch and have designated it stretch-inactivated channel (SIC). SIC encodes a 563-amino acid protein with putative six transmembrane segments. The cDNA was expressed in mammalian cells, and electophysiological studies were performed. SIC-induced large cation currents were found to be regulated by cell volume, with currents being stimulated by cell shrinkage and inhibited by cell swelling. Single channel analysis showed a conductance of 250 pS with cation permeability (PCl/PNa < 0.1), and the channel possessed some of the characteristics of a stretch-inactivated channel in that it was permeable to calcium, sensitive to membrane stretch, and blocked by Gd3+. Therefore, we cloned one of the mechanosensitive cation channels of mammals, which is considered to regulate Ca2+ influx in response to mechanical stress on the cell membrane.  (+info)

Modulation of the channel activity of the epsilon2/zeta1-subtype N-methyl D-aspartate receptor by PSD-95. (8/10550)

A channel-associated protein PSD-95 has been shown to induce clustering of N-methyl D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors, interacting with the COOH terminus of the epsilon subunit of the receptors. The effects of PSD-95 on the channel activity of the epsilon2/zeta1 heteromeric NMDA receptor were examined by injection of PSD-95 cRNA into Xenopus oocytes expressing the NMDA receptors. Expression of PSD-95 decreased the sensitivity of the NMDA receptor channels to L-glutamate. Mutational studies showed that the interaction between the COOH terminus of the epsilon2 subunit of the NMDA receptor and the second PSD-95/Dlg/Z0-1 domain of PSD-95 is critical for the decrease in glutamate sensitivity. It is known that protein kinase C markedly potentiates the channel activity of the NMDA receptor expressed in oocytes. PSD-95 inhibited the protein kinase C-mediated potentiation of the channels. Thus, we demonstrated that PSD-95 functionally modulates the channel activity of the epsilon2/zeta1 NMDA receptor. PSD-95 makes signal transmission more efficient by clustering the channels at postsynaptic sites. In addition to this, our results suggest that PSD-95 plays a protective role against neuronal excitotoxicity by decreasing the glutamate sensitivity of the channels and by inhibiting the protein kinase C-mediated potentiation of the channels.  (+info)