Luteinizing hormone inhibits conversion of pregnenolone to progesterone in luteal cells from rats on day 19 of pregnancy. (1/2660)

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)

Phosphorylation of the small heat shock-related protein, HSP20, in vascular smooth muscles is associated with changes in the macromolecular associations of HSP20. (2/2660)

Cyclic nucleotide-dependent vasorelaxation is associated with increases in the phosphorylation of a small heat shock-related protein, HSP20. We hypothesized that phosphorylation of HSP20 in vascular smooth muscles is associated with alterations in the macromolecular associations of HSP20. Treatment of bovine carotid artery smooth muscles with the phosphodiesterase inhibitor, 3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine, and the adenylate cyclase activator, forskolin, led to increases in the phosphorylation of HSP20 and dissociation of macromolecular aggregates of HSP20. However, 3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine and forskolin treatment of a muscle that is uniquely refractory to cyclic nucleotide-dependent vasorelaxation, human umbilical artery smooth muscle, did not result in increases in the phosphorylation of HSP20 or to dissociation of macromolecular aggregates. HSP20 can be phosphorylated in vitro by the catalytic subunit of cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA) in both carotid and umbilical arteries and this phosphorylation of HSP20 is associated with dissociation of macromolecular aggregates of HSP20. Activation of cyclic nucleotide-dependent signaling pathways does not lead to changes in the macromolecular associations of another small heat shock protein, HSP27. Interestingly, the myosin light chains (MLC20) are in similar fractions as the HSP20, and phosphorylation of HSP20 is associated with changes in the macromolecular associations of MLC20. These data suggest that increases in the phosphorylation of HSP20 are associated with changes in the macromolecular associations of HSP20. HSP20 may regulate vasorelaxation through a direct interaction with specific contractile regulatory proteins.  (+info)

Identification of a region of the C-terminal domain involved in short-term desensitization of the prostaglandin EP4 receptor. (3/2660)

1. The prostaglandin EP4 receptor, which couples to stimulation of adenylyl cyclase, undergoes rapid agonist-induced desensitization when expressed in CHO-K1 cells. 2. Truncation of the 488-amino acid receptor at residue 350 removes the carboxy-terminal domain and abolishes desensitization. 3. To further delineate residues involved in desensitization, the receptor was truncated at position 408, 383 or 369. Receptors truncated at position 408 or 383 underwent PGE2-induced desensitization, whereas the receptor truncated at position 369 displayed sustained activity, indicating that the essential residues for desensitization lie between 370 and 383. 4. The six serines in the 14-amino acid segment between residues 370 and 383 were mutated to alanine, retaining the entire C-terminal domain. Desensitization was absent in cells expressing this mutant. 5. The results indicate involvement of serines located between 370 and 382 in rapid desensitization of the EP4 receptor.  (+info)

Potency and mechanism of action of E4021, a type 5 phosphodiesterase isozyme-selective inhibitor, on the photoreceptor phosphodiesterase depend on the state of activation of the enzyme. (4/2660)

The ability of inhibitors selective for the type 5 phosphodiesterase isozyme (PDE5) to act on the photoreceptor PDE isozyme (PDE6, the central effector enzyme for visual transduction) is poorly understood. Because PDE5 inhibitors are currently used as therapeutic agents, it is important to assess the potency and mechanism of action of this class of PDE inhibitor on PDE6. We show that E4021 (sodium 1-[6-chloro-4-(3, 4-methylenedioxybenzyl)-aminoquinazolin-2-yl]piperidine-4-ca rboxylate sesquihydrate) inhibits activated PDE6 (KI = 1.7 nM) as potently as PDE5. This makes E4021 the most potent inhibitor of PDE6 discovered to date. The effectiveness of E4021 to inhibit nonactivated PDE6 (with bound inhibitory gamma subunits) is reduced 40-fold compared with the activated enzyme. Furthermore, at intermediate E4021 concentrations and high cGMP concentrations, nonactivated PDE undergoes activation of cGMP hydrolysis rather than inhibition. We demonstrate direct competition of E4021 and the gamma subunits for binding to the catalytic site. Measurements of cGMP binding to noncatalytic regulatory sites on the catalytic subunits of PDE6 rule out an allosteric effect of E4021 by direct binding to these noncatalytic sites. We conclude that E4021 is a competitive inhibitor of cGMP hydrolysis and that the gamma subunit also competes with both E4021 and substrate for catalytic site binding. An understanding of the effects of PDE5-targeted drugs on retinal PDE6 requires a knowledge of the complex interactions among substrate, drug, and inhibitory gamma subunit at the catalytic site of both nonactivated and activated forms of PDE6.  (+info)

Primary biliary cirrhosis associated with membranous glomerulonephritis. (5/2660)

A 33-year-old woman was admitted to our department for evaluation of liver dysfunction and proteinuria. A liver biopsy specimen showed ductular proliferation and moderate portal fibrosis indicating stage II primary biliary cirrhosis. A renal biopsy specimen showed mild to moderate mesangial cell proliferation without crescent formation or interstitial nephritis. Immunofluorescent staining revealed deposition of immunoglobulin G (IgG), third component of complement (C3), and Clq on glomerular basement membranes. The findings indicated stage I membranous glomerulonephritis. Administration of ursodesoxycholic acid together with prednisolone, azathioprine, and dipyridamole decreased proteinuria and improved cholestatic liver dysfunction.  (+info)

NH2-terminal fragments of the 130 kDa subunit of myosin phosphatase increase the Ca2+ sensitivity of porcine renal artery. (6/2660)

1. The effects of the NH2-terminal fragments of M130, a 130 kDa regulatory subunit of smooth muscle myosin phosphatase, on contraction and myosin light chain phosphorylation were investigated in Triton X-100-permeabilized porcine renal artery. 2. Incubation of the permeabilized fibres with M1301-633 (a fragment containing amino acid residues 1-633) or M13044-633 enhanced the Ca2+-induced contraction and shifted the [Ca2+]i-force relationship to the left (EC50 of Ca2+: 330 nM, control, without fragment; 145 nM, M1301-633; 163 nM, M13044-633). Pre-incubation for 1-3 h was needed for these long constructs. 3. M1301-374, M130304-511 and M130297-374, i.e. relatively short constructs compared with M1301-633 and M13044-633, also induced leftward shifts of the [Ca2+]i-force relationship (EC50 of Ca2+: 65 nM, 72 nM and 180 nM, respectively). However, these required no pre-incubation. 4. Deletion of residues 304-374 from the most potent construct, M1301-374, abolished the Ca2+-sensitizing effect. 5. Wortmannin inhibited the enhancement of contraction induced by M130 fragments when added before contraction was initiated and partially inhibited the effects when added after steady-state contraction. 6. M1301-374 slowed the rate of relaxation in Ca2+-free medium. The time for 50 % relaxation with this fragment was 510 +/- 51 s, compared with 274 +/- 14 s for control. 7. The levels of myosin light chain phosphorylation (22.4 %) and force (34. 5 %) obtained with 300 nM Ca2+ were increased by 3 microM M1301-374 to 35.7 and 92.2 %, respectively. However, M1301-374 had no effect on the phosphorylation-force relationship. 8. In conclusion, the NH2-terminal M130 fragments containing residues 304-374 inhibited myosin phosphatase, increased myosin light chain phosphorylation and increased the Ca2+ sensitivity of the contractile apparatus in permeabilized porcine renal artery.  (+info)

Sympathetic neuroeffector transmission in the rat anococcygeus muscle. (7/2660)

1. When intracellular recordings were made from preparations of rat anococcygeus muscle, transmural nerve stimulation evoked noradrenergic excitatory junction potentials (EJPs) made up of two distinct components. Both components were abolished by either guanethidine or alpha-adrenoceptor antagonists, indicating that they resulted from the release of transmitter from sympathetic nerves and the subsequent activation of alpha-adrenoceptors. 2. The first component was associated with a transient increase in the intracellular concentration of calcium ions ([Ca2+]i) and a contraction. Although the second component was often associated with a long lasting increase in [Ca2+]i it was not associated with a contraction unless the second component initiated an action potential. 3. The increase in [Ca2+]i associated with the first component resulted from Ca2+ release from an intracellular store and from entry of Ca2+ through voltage-dependent Ca2+ channels. The increase in [Ca2+]i associated with the second component resulted only from the entry of Ca2+ through L-type Ca2+ channels (CaL channels). The depolarization associated with the initial increase in [Ca2+]i was abolished by reducing the external concentration of chloride ions ([Cl-]o), suggesting that it involved the activation of a Cl- conductance. 4. When the relationships between changes in [Ca2+]i, membrane depolarization and contraction produced by an increasing number of sympathetic nerve stimuli were determined in control, and caffeine- and nifedipine-containing solutions, it was found that an increase in [Ca2+]i recorded in nifedipine produced a larger contraction and larger membrane depolarization than did a similar increase in [Ca2+]i recorded in either control or caffeine-containing solutions. These observations indicate that Ca2+ released from stores more readily triggers contraction and membrane depolarization than does Ca2+ entry via CaL channels.  (+info)

Release of Ca2+ from the sarcoplasmic reticulum increases mitochondrial [Ca2+] in rat pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells. (8/2660)

1. The Ca2+-sensitive fluorescent indicator rhod-2 was used to measure mitochondrial [Ca2+] ([Ca2+]m) in single smooth muscle cells from the rat pulmonary artery, while simultaneously monitoring cytosolic [Ca2+] ([Ca2+]i) with fura-2. 2. Application of caffeine produced an increase in [Ca2+]i and also increased [Ca2+]m. The increase in [Ca2+]m occurred after the increase in [Ca2+]i, and remained elevated for a considerable time after [Ca2+]i had returned to resting values. 3. The protonophore carbonyl cyanide p-(trifluoromethoxy)phenylhydrazone (FCCP), which causes the mitochondrial membrane potential to collapse, markedly attenuated the increase in [Ca2+]m following caffeine application and also increased the half-time for recovery of [Ca2+]i to resting values. 4. Activation of purinoceptors with ATP also produced increases in both [Ca2+]i and [Ca2+]m in these smooth muscle cells. In some cells, oscillations in [Ca2+]i were observed during ATP application, which produced corresponding oscillations in [Ca2+]m and membrane currents. 5. This study provides direct evidence that Ca2+ release from the sarcoplasmic reticulum, either through ryanodine or inositol 1,4, 5-trisphosphate (InsP3) receptors, increases both cytosolic and mitochondrial [Ca2+] in smooth muscle cells. These results have potential implications both for the role of mitochondria in Ca2+ regulation in smooth muscle, and for understanding how cellular metabolism is regulated.  (+info)