Kinetics of neuroendocrine differentiation in an androgen-dependent human prostate xenograft model.
It was previously shown in the PC-295 xenograft that the number of chromogranin A (CgA)-positive neuroendocrine (NE) cells increased after androgen withdrawal. NE cells did not proliferate and differentiated from G0-phase-arrested cells. Here we further characterized NE differentiation, androgen receptor status, and apoptosis-associated Bcl-2 expression in the PC-295 model after androgen withdrawal to assess the origin of NE cells. PC-295 tumor volumes decreased by 50% in 4 days. Intraperitoneal bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) incorporation and MIB-1 labeling decreased to 0%, and the apoptosis was maximal at day 4. Androgen receptor expression and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) serum levels decreased rapidly within 2 days. The number of NE cells increased 6-fold at day 4 and 30-fold at day 7. Five and ten percent of the CgA-positive cells were BrdU positive after continuous BrdU labeling for 2 and 4 days, respectively. However, no MIB-1 expression was observed in CgA-positive cells. NE cells expressed the regulated secretory pathway marker secretogranin III but were negative for androgen receptor and Bcl-2. Bcl-2 expression did increase in the non-NE tumor cells. In conclusion, androgen withdrawal leads to a rapid PC-295 tumor regression and a proliferation-independent induction of NE differentiation. The strictly androgen-independent NE cells that were still present after 21 days differentiated mainly from G0-phase-arrested cells. (+info)
Characterization of the Aplysia californica cerebral ganglion F cluster.
The cerebral ganglia neurons of Aplysia californica are involved in the development and modulation of many behaviors. The medially located F cluster has been characterized using morphological, electrophysiological and biochemical techniques and contains at least three previously uncharacterized neuronal population. As the three subtypes are located in three distinct layers, they are designated as top, middle, and bottom layer F-cluster neurons (CFT, CFM, and CFB). The CFT cells are large (92 +/- 25 microm), white, nonuniformly shaped, and located partially in the sheath surrounding the ganglion. These neurons exhibit weak electrical coupling, the presence of synchronized spontaneous changes in membrane potential, and a generalized inhibitory input upon electrical stimulation of the anterior tentacular (AT) nerve. Similar to the CFT neurons, the CFM neurons (46 +/- 12 microm) are mainly silent but do not show electrical coupling or synchronized changes in membrane potential. Unlike the CFT neurons, the CFM neurons exhibit weak action potential broadening during constant current injection. Comparison of the peptide profiles of CFT, CFM, and CFB (10-30 microm) neurons using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry demonstrates distinct peptide molecular weights for each neuronal subtype with the masses of these peptides not matching any previously characterized peptides from A. californica. The mass spectra obtained from the AT nerve are similar to the CFT neuron mass spectra, while upper labial nerve contains many peptides observed in the CFM neurons located in nongranular neuron region. (+info)
Lateralized effects of medial prefrontal cortex lesions on neuroendocrine and autonomic stress responses in rats.
The medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) is highly activated by stress and modulates neuroendocrine and autonomic function. Dopaminergic inputs to mPFC facilitate coping ability and demonstrate considerable hemispheric functional lateralization. The present study investigated the potentially lateralized regulation of stress responses at the level of mPFC output neurons, using ibotenic acid lesions. Neuroendocrine function was assessed by plasma corticosterone increases in response to acute or repeated 20 min restraint stress. The primary index of autonomic activation was gastric ulcer development during a separate cold restraint stress. Restraint-induced defecation was also monitored. Plasma corticosterone levels were markedly lower in response to repeated versus acute restraint stress. In acutely restrained animals, right or bilateral, but not left mPFC lesions, decreased prestress corticosterone levels, whereas in repeatedly restrained rats, the same lesions significantly reduced the peak stress-induced corticosterone response. Stress ulcer development (after a single cold restraint stress) was greatly reduced by either right or bilateral mPFC lesions but was unaffected by left lesions. Restraint-induced defecation was elevated in animals with left mPFC lesions. Finally, a left-biased asymmetry in adrenal gland weights was observed across animals, which was unaffected by mPFC lesions. The results suggest that mPFC output neurons demonstrate an intrinsic right brain specialization in both neuroendocrine and autonomic activation. Such findings may be particularly relevant to clinical depression which is associated with both disturbances in stress regulatory systems and hemispheric imbalances in prefrontal function. (+info)
Locust corpora cardiaca contain an inactive adipokinetic hormone.
A neuropeptide from the migratory locust, Locusta migratoria, has been identified as a novel member of the family of adipokinetic hormones (AKHs). The peptide is probably synthesised in the brain because it is the first AKH found in the storage lobe, whilst the three 'classic' Locusta AKHs are present in the glandular lobe of the corpora cardiaca. In locusts, the peptide has no biological activity usually associated with AKHs. There is only 36-56% sequence identity with the three Lom-AKHs, but 78% identity with the Drosophila melanogaster AKH, Drm-HrTH. The new peptide is active in the American cockroach, Periplaneta americana, and was provisionally named 'L. migratoria hypertrehalosaemic hormone', Lom-HrTH; its biological role in locusts remains to be established. The high degree of identity with Drm-HrTH suggests that Lom-HrTH is an ancient molecule. (+info)
Luteolysis: a neuroendocrine-mediated event.
In many nonprimate mammalian species, cyclical regression of the corpus luteum (luteolysis) is caused by the episodic pulsatile secretion of uterine PGF2alpha, which acts either locally on the corpus luteum by a countercurrent mechanism or, in some species, via the systemic circulation. Hysterectomy in these nonprimate species causes maintenance of the corpora lutea, whereas in primates, removal of the uterus does not influence the cyclical regression of the corpus luteum. In several nonprimate species, the episodic pattern of uterine PGF2alpha secretion appears to be controlled indirectly by the ovarian steroid hormones estradiol-17beta and progesterone. It is proposed that, toward the end of the luteal phase, loss of progesterone action occurs both centrally in the hypothalamus and in the uterus due to the catalytic reduction (downregulation) of progesterone receptors by progesterone. Loss of progesterone action may permit the return of estrogen action, both centrally in the hypothalamus and peripherally in the uterus. Return of central estrogen action appears to cause the hypothalamic oxytocin pulse generator to alter its frequency and produce a series of intermittent episodes of oxytocin secretion. In the uterus, returning estrogen action concomitantly upregulates endometrial oxytocin receptors. The interaction of neurohypophysial oxytocin with oxytocin receptors in the endometrium evokes the secretion of luteolytic pulses of uterine PGF2alpha. Thus the uterus can be regarded as a transducer that converts intermittent neural signals from the hypothalamus, in the form of episodic oxytocin secretion, into luteolytic pulses of uterine PGF2alpha. In ruminants, portions of a finite store of luteal oxytocin are released synchronously by uterine PGF2alpha pulses. Luteal oxytocin in ruminants may thus serve to amplify neural oxytocin signals that are transduced by the uterus into pulses of PGF2alpha. Whether such amplification of episodic PGF2alpha pulses by luteal oxytocin is a necessary requirement for luteolysis in ruminants remains to be determined. Recently, oxytocin has been reported to be produced by the endometrium and myometrium of the sow, mare, and rat. It is possible that uterine production of oxytocin may act as a supplemental source of oxytocin during luteolysis in these species. In primates, oxytocin and its receptor and PGF2alpha and its receptor have been identified in the corpus luteum and/or ovary. Therefore, it is possible that oxytocin signals of ovarian and/or neural origin may be transduced locally at the ovarian level, thus explaining why luteolysis and ovarian cyclicity can proceed in the absence of the uterus in primates. However, it remains to be established whether the intraovarian process of luteolysis is mediated by arachidonic acid and/or its metabolite PGF2alpha and whether the central oxytocin pulse generator identified in nonprimate species plays a mediatory role during luteolysis in primates. Regardless of the mechanism, intraovarian luteolysis in primates (progesterone withdrawal) appears to be the primary stimulus for the subsequent production of endometrial prostaglandins associated with menstruation. In contrast, luteolysis in nonprimate species appears to depend on the prior production of endometrial prostaglandins. In primates, uterine prostaglandin production may reflect a vestigial mechanism that has been retained during evolution from an earlier dependence on uterine prostaglandin production for luteolysis. (+info)
Neuroendocrine control of growth hormone secretion.
The secretion of growth hormone (GH) is regulated through a complex neuroendocrine control system, especially by the functional interplay of two hypothalamic hypophysiotropic hormones, GH-releasing hormone (GHRH) and somatostatin (SS), exerting stimulatory and inhibitory influences, respectively, on the somatotrope. The two hypothalamic neurohormones are subject to modulation by a host of neurotransmitters, especially the noradrenergic and cholinergic ones and other hypothalamic neuropeptides, and are the final mediators of metabolic, endocrine, neural, and immune influences for the secretion of GH. Since the identification of the GHRH peptide, recombinant DNA procedures have been used to characterize the corresponding cDNA and to clone GHRH receptor isoforms in rodent and human pituitaries. Parallel to research into the effects of SS and its analogs on endocrine and exocrine secretions, investigations into their mechanism of action have led to the discovery of five separate SS receptor genes encoding a family of G protein-coupled SS receptors, which are widely expressed in the pituitary, brain, and the periphery, and to the synthesis of analogs with subtype specificity. Better understanding of the function of GHRH, SS, and their receptors and, hence, of neural regulation of GH secretion in health and disease has been achieved with the discovery of a new class of fairly specific, orally active, small peptides and their congeners, the GH-releasing peptides, acting on specific, ubiquitous seven-transmembrane domain receptors, whose natural ligands are not yet known. (+info)
The pulmonary neuroendocrine system: the past decade.
The pulmonary neuroendocrine system consists of specialized airway endocrine epithelial cells, associated with nerve fibres. The epithelial cells, the pulmonary neuroendocrine cells (PNEC), can be solitary or clustered to form neuroepithelial bodies (NEB). During the last thirty years, the pulmonary neuroendocrine system has been intensively investigated and much knowledge of its function has been obtained. This text reviews work which dates from the last ten years. In this period, the picture of the pulmonary neuroendocrine system we previously had, has not fundamentally changed. The pulmonary neuroendocrine system is still regarded as an oxygen sensitive chemoreceptor with local and reflex-mediated regulatory functions, and as a regulator of airway growth and development. Continuing research has much more refined this picture. This text reviews several aspects of the pulmonary neuroendocrine system: phylogeny, the amine and peptide content of its epithelial cells, ontogeny and influence on lung development, the influence of hypoxia and nonhypoxic stimuli, immunomodulatory function, innervation and pathology. Among the discoveries of the past decade, three stand out prominently because of their great significance: additional proof that the neural component of the pulmonary neuroendocrine system is sensory, sound experimental evidence that PNEC stimulate airway epithelial cell differentiation and the discovery of a specific membrane oxygen receptor in the PNEC. (+info)
Mechano- and chemoreceptor modulation of renal sympathetic nerve activity at birth in fetal sheep.
Physiological responses at birth include increases in heart rate (HR), blood pressure, sympathetic nerve activity, and circulating vasoactive peptides. The factors mediating these responses are not known. To test the hypothesis that afferent input from peripheral mechanoreceptors (arterial and cardiopulmonary baroreceptors) and chemoreceptors contribute to the sympathoexcitatory and hormonal responses at birth, we studied the effects of sinoaortic denervation (SAD) and SAD with vagotomy (Vx) on changes in HR, mean arterial blood pressure (MABP), renal sympathetic nerve activity (RSNA), and catecholamine, arginine vasopressin (AVP), and ANG II levels at birth in term sheep. One hour after delivery by cesarean section, RSNA increased by 168 +/- 49 and 192 +/- 32% (relative to fetal values) in SAD and SAD-Vx animals, respectively. Significant increases in HR (18 +/- 5 and 20 +/- 6%) and MABP (24 +/- 4 and 20 +/- 5%) were also observed 1 h after delivery in SAD and SAD-Vx lambs, respectively. These responses are similar to those seen in intact sheep delivered at the same gestational age. AVP levels markedly increased after birth (19.8 +/- 6.7 to 136.1 +/- 75.9 pg/ml) in SAD-Vx lambs, whereas SAD animals displayed no change in AVP concentrations. Plasma ANG II also did not change after birth in either group, although levels were consistently higher (P < 0.01) in SAD compared with SAD-Vx animals. In the presence of SAD, Vx resulted in significantly greater plasma levels of norepinephrine, although levels did not change after birth in either group. The epinephrine responses at birth were similar in both groups of animals. The present data suggest that afferent input from peripheral chemoreceptors and mechanoreceptors contributes little to the hemodynamic and sympathetic responses after delivery by cesarean section. On the other hand, these peripheral mechanisms appear to be involved in modulating endocrine responses at birth. (+info)