The focus of this review is on the principal sensory ending of the mammalian muscle spindle, known as the primary ending. The process of mechanosensory transduction in the primary ending is examined under five headings: (i) action potential responses to defined mechanical stimuli—representing the ending's input–output properties; (ii) the receptor potential—including the currents giving rise to it; (iii) sensory-terminal deformation—measurable changes in the shape of the primary-ending terminals correlated with intrafusal sarcomere length, and what may cause them; (iv) putative stretch-sensitive channels—pharmacological and immunocytochemical clues to their identity; and (v) synaptic-like vesicles—the physiology and pharmacology of an intrinsic glutamatergic system in the primary and other mechanosensory endings, with some thoughts on the possible role of the system. Thus, the review highlights spindle stretch-evoked output is the product of multi-ionic receptor currents plus complex and sophisticated regulatory gain controls, both positive and negative in nature, as befits its status as the most complex sensory organ after the special senses.
Focus on touch and hearing distracts attention from numerous subconscious force sensors, such as the vital control of blood pressure and systemic osmolarity, and sensors in nonanimals. Multifarious manifestations should not obscure invariant and fundamental physicochemical principles. We advocate that force from lipid (FFL) is one such principle. It is based on the fact that the self-assembled bilayer necessitates inherent forces that are large and anisotropic, even at life’s origin. Functional response of membrane proteins is governed by bilayer force changes. Added stress can redirect these forces, leading to geometric changes of embedded proteins such as ion channels. The FFL principle was first demonstrated when purified bacterial mechanosensitive channel of large conductance (MscL) remained mechanosensitive (MS) after reconstituting into bilayers. This key experiment has recently been unequivocally replicated with two vertebrate MS K2p channels. Even the canonical Kv and the Drosophila canonical transient receptor potentials (TRPCs) have now been shown to be MS in biophysical and in physiological contexts, supporting the universality of the FFL paradigm. We also review the deterministic role of mechanical force during stem cell differentiation as well as the cell-cell and cell-matrix tethers that provide force communications. In both the ear hair cell and the worm’s touch neuron, deleting the cadherin or microtubule tethers reduces but does not eliminate MS channel activities. We found no evidence to distinguish whether these tethers directly pull on the channel protein or a surrounding lipid platform. Regardless of the implementation, pulling tether tenses up the bilayer. Membrane tenting is directly visible at the apexes of the stereocilia.
Heart failure as a consequence of ischemic, hypertensive, infectious, or hereditary heart disease is a major challenge in cardiology and topic of intense research. Recently, new players appeared in this field and promise deeper insights into cardiac development, function, and disease. Long non-coding RNAs are a novel class of transcripts that can regulate gene expression and may have many more functions inside the cell. Here, we present examples on long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) function in cardiac development and give suggestions on how lncRNAs may be involved in cardiomyocyte dysfunction, myocardial fibrosis, and inflammation, three hallmarks of the failing heart. Above that, we point out opportunities as well as challenges that should be considered in the endeavor to investigate cardiac lncRNAs.
The pathophysiology of heart failure (HF) is diverse, owing to multiple etiologies and aberrations in a number of cellular processes. Therefore, it is essential to understand how defects in the molecular pathways that mediate cellular responses to internal and external stressors function as a system to drive the HF phenotype. Mass spectrometry (MS)-based proteomics strategies have great potential for advancing our understanding of disease mechanisms at the systems level because proteins are the effector molecules for all cell functions and, thus, are directly responsible for determining cell phenotype. Two MS-based proteomics strategies exist: peptide-based bottom-up and protein-based top-down proteomics—each with its own unique strengths and weaknesses for interrogating the proteome. In this review, we will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of bottom-up and top-down MS for protein identification, quantification, and analysis of post-translational modifications, as well as highlight how both of these strategies have contributed to our understanding of the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying HF. Additionally, the challenges associated with both proteomics approaches will be discussed and insights will be offered regarding the future of MS-based proteomics in HF research.
Cardiac remodeling in response to a myocardial infarction or chronic pressure-overload is an independent risk factor for the development of heart failure. In contrast, cardiac remodeling produced by regular physical exercise is associated with a decreased risk for heart failure. There is evidence that exercise training has a beneficial effect on disease progression and survival in patients with cardiac remodeling and dysfunction, but concern has also been expressed that exercise training may aggravate pathological remodeling and dysfunction. Here we present studies from our laboratory into the effects of exercise training on pathological cardiac remodeling and dysfunction in mice. The results indicate that even in the presence of a large infarct, exercise training exerts beneficial effects on the heart. These effects were mimicked in part by endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) overexpression and abrogated by eNOS deficiency, demonstrating the importance of nitric oxide signaling in mediating the cardiac effects of exercise. Exercise prior to a myocardial infarction was also cardioprotective. In contrast, exercise tended to aggravate pathological cardiac remodeling and dysfunction in the setting of pressure-overload produced by an aortic stenosis. These observations emphasize the critical importance of the underlying pathological stimulus for cardiac hypertrophy and remodeling, in determining the effects of exercise training. Future studies are needed to define the influence of exercise type, intensity and duration in different models and severities of pathological cardiac remodeling. Together such studies will aid in optimizing the therapy of exercise training in the setting of cardiovascular disease.
Cyclic AMP regulates a multitude of cellular responses and orchestrates a network of intracellular events. In the heart, cAMP is the main second messenger of the β-adrenergic receptor (β-AR) pathway producing positive chronotropic, inotropic, and lusitropic effects during sympathetic stimulation. Whereas short-term stimulation of β-AR/cAMP is beneficial for the heart, chronic activation of this pathway triggers pathological cardiac remodeling, which may ultimately lead to heart failure (HF). Cyclic AMP is controlled by two families of enzymes with opposite actions: adenylyl cyclases, which control cAMP production and phosphodiesterases, which control its degradation. The large number of families and isoforms of these enzymes, their different localization within the cell, and their organization in macromolecular complexes leads to a high level of compartmentation, both in space and time, of cAMP signaling in cardiac myocytes. Here, we review the expression level, molecular characteristics, functional properties, and roles of the different adenylyl cyclase and phosphodiesterase families expressed in heart muscle and the changes that occur in cardiac hypertrophy and failure.
In this review, we address the following question: Are modifications at the level of sarcomeric proteins in acquired heart failure early inducers of altered cardiac dynamics and signaling leading to remodeling and progression to decompensation? There is no doubt that most inherited cardiomyopathies are caused by mutations in proteins of the sarcomere. We think this linkage indicates that early changes at the level of the sarcomeres in acquired cardiac disorders may be significant in triggering the progression to failure. We consider evidence that there are rate-limiting mechanisms downstream of the trigger event of Ca2+ binding to troponin C, which control cardiac dynamics. We discuss new perspectives on how modifications in these mechanisms may be of relevance to redox signaling in diastolic heart failure, to angiotensin II signaling via β-arrestin, and to remodeling related to altered structural rigidity of tropomyosin. We think that these new perspectives provide a rationale for future studies directed at a more thorough understanding of the question driving our review.
As part of this series devoted to heart failure (HF), we review the epidemiology, diagnosis, pathophysiology, and treatment of HF with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF). Gaps in knowledge and needed future research are discussed.
In the heart, coupling between excitation of the surface membrane and activation of contractile apparatus is mediated by Ca released from the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR). Several components of Ca machinery are perfectly arranged within the SR network and the T-tubular system to generate a regular Ca cycling and thereby rhythmic beating activity of the heart. Among these components, ryanodine receptor (RyR) and SR Ca ATPase (SERCA) complexes play a particularly important role and their dysfunction largely underlies abnormal Ca homeostasis in diseased hearts such as in heart failure. The abnormalities in Ca regulation occur at practically all main steps of Ca cycling in the failing heart, including activation and termination of SR Ca release, diastolic SR Ca leak, and SR Ca uptake. The contributions of these different mechanisms to depressed contractile function and enhanced arrhythmogenesis may vary in different HF models. This brief review will therefore focus on modifications in RyR and SERCA structure that occur in the failing heart and how these molecular modifications affect SR Ca regulation and excitation–contraction coupling.
Heart failure can be a consequence of insufficient palliation of structural malformations in patients with congenital heart disease (CHD) or genetic perturbations resulting in cardiomyopathies. Although CHD is traditionally considered a pediatric clinical problem, there is a rapidly increasing population of patients surviving into adulthood with CHD and a corresponding increase in the rate of hospital admissions for adult CHD patients with heart failure. Therefore, there is recognition of the clinical importance in translating conventional heart failure pharmacotherapies to patients with CHD, improving management of heart failure in the context of structural consequences of CHD, and understanding the underlying genetic abnormalities which impact myocardial performance. Heart failure in CHD typically involves complex interactions between primary structural defects, the consequences of interventions (i.e., residual lesions), and the heart’s response to enhanced myocardial mechanical stress which depends on many other genetic factors (i.e., gene modifiers). In this review, we will examine how altered genes and hemodynamic loading contribute to heart failure seen in congenital heart patients. Understanding mechanisms of myocardial response and remodeling within the congenital population can provide insight into physiological principles and improve our understanding of heart failure.
Among the myriad of molecular alterations occurring in heart failure development, aggravation of the disease is often attributed to global or local changes in protein kinase activity, thus making protein kinases attractive targets for therapeutic intervention. Since protein kinases do not only have maladaptive roles, but also contribute to the physiological integrity of cells, it is a challenging task to circumvent undesired inhibition of protein kinase activity. Identification of posttranslational modifications and/or protein-protein interactions that are exclusively apparent under pathophysiological conditions provides exciting information for alternative non-kinase inhibitory treatment strategies that eliminate maladaptive functions of a protein kinase, but preserve the beneficial ones. Here, we focus on the disease-specific regulation of a number of protein kinases, namely, Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II isoform δ (CaMKIIδ), G protein-coupled receptor kinase 2 (GRK2), extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1 and 2 (ERK1/2), protein kinase D (PKD) and protein kinase C isoform β2 (PKCβ2), which are embedded in complex signal transduction pathways implicated in heart failure development, and discuss potential avenues for novel treatment strategies to combat heart disease.
The cardiac extracellular matrix (ECM) fills the space between cells, supports tissue organization, and transduces mechanical, chemical, and biological signals to regulate homeostasis of the left ventricle (LV). Following myocardial infarction (MI), a multitude of ECM proteins are synthesized to replace myocyte loss and form a reparative scar. Activated fibroblasts (myofibroblasts) are the primary source of ECM proteins, thus playing a key role in cardiac repair. A balanced turnover of ECM through regulation of synthesis by myofibroblasts and degradation by matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) is critical for proper scar formation. In this review, we summarize the current literature on the roles of myofibroblasts, MMPs, and ECM proteins in MI-induced LV remodeling. In addition, we discuss future research directions that are needed to further elucidate the molecular mechanisms of ECM actions to optimize cardiac repair.
In this brief review, recent evidence is presented to indicate a role for specific components of the cardiomyocyte costamere (and its related structure the focal adhesion complex of cultured cardiomyocytes) in initiating and sustaining the aberrant signal transduction that contributes to myocardial remodeling and the progression to heart failure (HF). Special attention is devoted to the focal adhesion kinase family of nonreceptor protein tyrosine kinases in bidirectional signal transduction during cardiac remodeling and HF progression. Finally, some speculations and directions for future study are provided for this rapidly developing field of research.
Heart failure with reduced ejection fraction involves activation of the sympathetic nervous system and chronic hyperactivation of the sympatho-adrenergic receptors (ARs) β-ARs and α1-ARs, which are thought to be cardiotoxic and worsen pathological remodeling and function. Concurrently, the failing heart manifests significant decreases in sympathetic nerve terminal density, decreased cardiac norepinephrine levels, and marked downregulation of β-AR abundance and signaling. Thus, a state of both feast and famine coexist with respect to the adrenergic state in heart failure. For the failing heart, the hyperadrenergic state is toxic. However, the role of hypoadrenergic mechanisms in the pathophysiology of heart failure is less clear. Cardiotoxic effects are known to arise from the β1-AR subtype, and use of β-AR blockers is a cornerstone of current heart failure therapy. However, cardioprotective effects arise from the β2-AR subtype that counteract hyperactive β1-AR signaling, but unfortunately, β2-AR cardioprotective signaling in heart failure is inhibited by β-AR blocker therapy. In contrast to current dogma, recent research shows β1-AR signaling can also be cardioprotective. Moreover, for some forms of heart failure, β2-AR signaling is cardiotoxic. Thus for both β-AR subtypes, there is a balance between cardiotoxic versus cardioprotective effects. In heart failure, stimulation of α1-ARs is widely thought to be cardiotoxic. However, also contrary to current dogma, recent research shows that α1-AR signaling is cardioprotective. Taken together, recent research identifies cardioprotective signaling arising from β1-AR, β2-AR, and α1-ARs. A goal for future therapies will to harness the protective effects of AR signaling while minimizing cardiotoxic effects. The trajectory of heart failure therapy changed radically from the previous and intuitive use of sympathetic agonists, which unfortunately resulted in greater mortality, to the current use of β-AR blockers, which initially seemed counterintuitive. As a cautionary note, if the slow adoption of beta-blocker therapy in heart failure is any guide, then new treatment strategies, especially counterintuitive therapies involving stimulating β-AR and α1-AR signaling, may take considerable time to develop and gain acceptance.
Two main hemodynamic overload mechanisms [i.e., volume and pressure overload (VO and PO, respectively] result in heart failure (HF), and these two mechanisms have divergent pathologic alterations and different pathophysiological mechanisms. Extensive evidence from animal models and human studies of PO demonstrate a clear association with alterations in Ca2+ homeostasis. By contrast, emerging evidence from animal models and patients with regurgitant valve disease and dilated cardiomyopathy point toward a more prominent role of myofilament dysfunction. With respect to VO HF, key features of excitation–contraction coupling defects, myofilament dysfunction, and extracellular matrix composition will be discussed.
In this article, we review recent advances in our understanding of arrhythmia mechanisms in the failing heart. We focus on changes in repolarization, conduction, and intracellular calcium cycling because of their importance to the vast majority of clinical arrhythmias in heart failure. We highlight recent efforts to combat arrhythmias using gene-based approaches that target ion channel, gap junction, and calcium cycling proteins. We further discuss the advantages and limitations associated with individual approaches.
Although pulmonary arterial hypertension originates in the lung and is caused by progressive remodeling of the small pulmonary arterioles, patients die from the consequences of pressure-overload-induced right heart failure. Prognosis is poor, and currently there are no selective treatments targeting the failing right ventricle. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to obtain more insights into the mechanisms of right ventricular adaptation and the transition toward right heart failure. In this review, we propose that the same adaptive mechanisms, which initially preserve right ventricular systolic function and maintain cardiac output, eventually initiate the transition toward right heart failure.
Mechanosensation and mechanotransduction are fundamental aspects of biology, but the link between physical stimuli and biological responses remains not well understood. The perception of mechanical stimuli, their conversion into biochemical signals, and the transmission of these signals are particularly important for dynamic organs such as the heart. Various concepts have been introduced to explain mechanosensation at the molecular level, including effects on signalosomes, tensegrity, or direct activation (or inactivation) of enzymes. Striated muscles, including cardiac myocytes, differ from other cells in that they contain sarcomeres which are essential for the generation of forces and which play additional roles in mechanosensation. The majority of cardiomyopathy causing candidate genes encode structural proteins among which titin probably is the most important one. Due to its elastic elements, titin is a length sensor and also plays a role as a tension sensor (i.e., stress sensation). The recent discovery of titin mutations being a major cause of dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) also underpins the importance of mechanosensation and mechanotransduction in the pathogenesis of heart failure. Here, we focus on sarcomere-related mechanisms, discuss recent findings, and provide a link to cardiomyopathy and associated heart failure.
Heart failure therapy has seen many advances over the last 40 years and has rapidly expanded beyond diuretics and digoxin to include several new mechanisms of action and devices whose efficacy had been demonstrated in large clinical trials. The evidence for their use is thoroughly summarized and discussed in current heart failure treatment guidelines and is not the subject of this review. Despite these advances, the mortality and morbidity in heart failure patients is still substantial, and there remains a need to develop new heart failure therapies. Recognizing that advances in medical therapy are often driven by the introduction of drugs with novel mechanisms of action, here we provide an overview of investigative heart failure drugs with novel mechanisms of action that are the subject of ongoing clinical trials.
In the nucleus of the tractus solitarii (NTS), a large proportion of neurones express transient A-type potassium currents (I KA) having deep influence on the fidelity of the synaptic transmission of the visceral primary afferent inputs to second-order neurones. Up to now, the strong impact of I KA within the NTS was considered to result exclusively from its variation in amplitude, and its molecular correlate(s) remained unknown. In order to identify which Kv channels underlie I KA in NTS neurones, the gating properties and the pharmacology of this current were determined using whole cell patch clamp recordings in slices. Complementary information was brought by immunohistochemistry. Strikingly, two neurone subpopulations characterized by fast or slow inactivation time courses (respectively about 50 and 200 ms) were discriminated. Both characteristics matched those of the Kv4 channel subfamily. The other gating properties, also matching the Kv4 channel ones, were homogeneous through the NTS. The activation and inactivation occurred at membrane potentials around the threshold for generating action potentials, and the time course of recovery from inactivation was rapid. Pharmacologically, I KA in NTS neurones was found to be resistant to tetraethylammonium (TEA), sea anemone toxin blood-depressing substance (BDS) and dendrotoxin (DTX), whereas Androctonus mauretanicus mauretanicus toxin 3 (AmmTX3), a scorpion toxin of the α-KTX 15 family that has been shown to block all the members of the Kv4 family, inhibited 80 % of I KA irrespectively of its inactivation time course. Finally, immunohistochemistry data suggested that, among the Kv4 channel subfamily, Kv4.3 is the prevalent subunit expressed in the NTS.
In vascular smooth muscle, it has been described that testosterone (TES) produces relaxation by blocking L-type Ca2+ channels. Recently, we found that L-type Ca2+ and store-operated Ca2+ (SOC) channels are the main membranal structures that provide extracellular Ca2+ for carbachol (CCh)-induced contraction in airway smooth muscle (ASM). We studied the possible interactions between L-type and SOC channels in TES-induced relaxation in guinea pig ASM. TES (10, 32, 100, and 178 μM) induced a complete relaxation of CCh-precontracted tracheal smooth muscle, and indomethacin partially inhibited this response. In single myocytes, the KCl-induced intracellular Ca2+ increase ([Ca2+]i) was decreased by 32 and completely blocked by 100 nM TES. This androgen (32 and 100 μM) significantly diminished (~25 and 49 %, respectively) the capacitative Ca2+ entry. Myocytes stimulated with CCh produced a transient Ca2+ peak followed by a sustained plateau. D-600 was added during the plateau phase, and a partial diminution (~35 %) was observed. A greater decrease (~78 %) was seen when 2-aminoethyl diphenylborinate (2-APB, SOC antagonist) was used. The combination of both drugs completely abolished the Ca2+ plateau induced by CCh. TES (100 μM) also completely abolished the CCh-induced Ca2+ plateau. Indomethacin significantly diminished this effect of TES. PGE2 and butaprost proportionally decreased the Ca2+ plateau as indomethacin blocked it. Sarcoplasmic reticulum refilling was partially, dependently, and significantly diminished by TES. We concluded that TES-induced relaxation involves blockade of L-type Ca2+ channels at nanomolar and SOC channels at micromolar concentration and PGE2 seems to be also involved in this phenomenon.
Activation of muscarinic acetylcholine receptors (mAChRs) constitutes the primary mechanism for enhancing excitability and contractility of human detrusor smooth muscle (DSM). Since the large-conductance Ca2+-activated K+ (KCa1.1) channels are key regulators of human DSM function, we investigated whether mAChR activation increases human DSM excitability by inhibiting KCa1.1 channels. We used the mAChR agonist, carbachol, to determine the changes in KCa1.1 channel activity upon mAChR activation in freshly isolated human DSM cells obtained from open bladder surgeries using the perforated whole cell and single KCa1.1 channel patch-clamp recordings. Human DSM cells were collected from 29 patients (23 males and 6 females, average age of 65.9 ± 1.5 years). Carbachol inhibited the amplitude and frequency of KCa1.1 channel-mediated spontaneous transient outward currents and spontaneous transient hyperpolarizations, which are triggered by the release of Ca2+ from ryanodine receptors. Carbachol also caused membrane potential depolarization, which was not observed in the presence of iberiotoxin, a KCa1.1 channel inhibitor, indicating the critical role of the KCa1.1 channels. The potential direct carbachol effects on KCa1.1 channels were examined under conditions of removing the major cellular Ca2+ sources for KCa1.1 channel activation with pharmacological inhibitors (thapsigargin, ryanodine, and nifedipine). In the presence of these inhibitors, carbachol did not affect the single KCa1.1 channel open probability and mean KCa1.1 channel conductance (cell-attached configuration) or depolarization-induced whole cell steady-state KCa1.1 currents. The data support the concept that mAChR activation triggers indirect functional KCa1.1 channel inhibition mediated by intracellular Ca2+, thus increasing the excitability in human DSM cells.
The L-type voltage-gated calcium channel Cav1.2 and the calcium-activated CaM kinase cascade both regulate excitation transcription coupling in the brain. CaM kinase is known to associate with the C terminus of Cav1.2 in a region called the PreIQ-IQ domain, which also binds multiple calmodulin molecules. Here we identify and characterize a second CaMKII binding site in the N terminus of Cav1.2 that is formed by a stretch of four amino residues (cysteine–isoleucine–serine–isoleucine) and which regulates channel expression and function. By using live cell imaging of tsA-201 cells we show that GFP fusion constructs of the CaMKII binding region, termed N2B-II co-localize with mCherry-CaMKII. Mutating CISI to AAAA ablates binding to and colocalization with CaMKII. Cav1.2-AAAA channels show reduced cell surface expression in tsA-201 cells, but interestingly, display an increase in channel function that offsets the trafficking deficit. Altogether our data reveal that the proximal N terminus of Cav1.2 contains a CaMKII binding region which contributes to channel surface expression and function.
Crucial cysteine residues can be involved in the modulation of protein activity via the modification of thiol (-SH) groups. Among these reactions, disulfide bonds (S-S) play a key role in the folding, stability, and activity of membrane proteins. However, the regulation of extracellular cysteines in classical transient receptor potential (TRPC) channels remains controversial. Here, we examine the functional importance of the extracellular disulfide bond in TRPC5 in modulating channel gating and trafficking. Specifically, we investigated TRPC5 activity in transiently transfected HEK293 cells with wild-type (WT) or cysteine (C553 and C558) mutants in the pore loop. Using reducing agents, we determined that a disulfide linkage mediates the tetrameric formation of the TRPC5 channel. By measuring the TRPC5 current, we observed that C553S or C558S mutants completely lose channel activity induced by lanthanides or receptor stimulation. Co-expression of TRPC5 (WT) with mutants demonstrated a dominant-negative function in mutants, which inhibited the activity of TRPC5 (WT). We generated TRPC5-TRPC5 dimers and observed reduced activity of WT-mutant (C553S or C558S) dimers compared to WT-WT dimers. When pretreated with reducing agents for 12 h, the TRPC5 current decreased due to a reduction in membrane TRPC5 distribution. In addition, we identified a reduced expression of C553S mutant in plasma membrane. We analyzed a dimeric interaction of wild-type and mutant TRPC5 using co-immunoprecipitation and FRET method, indicating a weak interaction between dimeric partners. These results indicated that the disulfide bond between conserved extracellular cysteines, especially C553, is essential for functional TRPC5 activity by channel multimerization and trafficking.
Mechanosensitive channels are integral components for the response of bacteria to osmotic shock. The mechanosensitive channel of large conductance (MscL) responds to extreme turgor pressure increase that would otherwise lyse the cellular membrane. MscL has been studied as a model mechanosensitive channel using both structural and functional approaches. We will summarize the structural data and discuss outstanding questions surrounding the gating mechanism of this homo-oligomeric channel that has ~3 nS conductance. Specifically, we will explore the following: (1) the variability in oligomeric state that has been observed, (2) the open pore size measurements, and (3) the role of the C-terminal coiled coil domain for channel function. The oligomeric state of MscL has been characterized using various techniques, with a pentamer being the predominant form; however, the presence of mixtures of oligomers in the membrane is still uncertain. In the absence of structural data for the open state of MscL, the diameter of the open state pore has been estimated by several different approaches, leading to a current estimate between 25 and 30 Å. While the C-terminal domain is highly conserved among MscL homologues, it is not required for activity in vivo or in vitro. This domain is likely to remain intact during the gating transition and perform a filtering function that retains valuable osmolytes in the cytosol. Overall, studies of MscL have provided significant insight to the field, and serve as a paradigm for the analysis of non-homologous, eukaryotic mechanosensitive channel proteins.
Mechanical allodynia (other pain) is a painful sensation caused by innocuous stimuli like light touch. Unlike inflammatory hyperalgesia that has a protective role, allodynia has no obvious biological utility. Allodynia is associated with nerve damage in conditions such as diabetes, and is likely to become an increasing clinical problem. Unfortunately, the mechanistic basis of this enhanced sensitivity is incompletely understood. In this review, we describe evidence for the involvement of candidate mechanosensitive channels such as Piezo2 and their role in allodynia, as well as the peripheral and central nervous system mechanisms that have also been implicated in this form of pain. Specific treatments that block allodynia could be very useful if the cell and molecular basis of the condition could be determined. There are many potential mechanisms underlying this condition ranging from alterations in mechanotransduction and sensory neuron excitability to the actions of inflammatory mediators and wiring changes in the CNS. As with other pain conditions, it is likely that the range of redundant mechanisms that cause allodynia will make therapeutic intervention problematic.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of chronic musculoskeletal disorders. A migratory stem cell population termed chondrogenic progenitor cells (CPC) with in vitro chondrogenic potential was previously isolated from OA cartilage. Since intracellular Ca2+ signalling is an important regulator of chondrogenesis, we aimed to provide a detailed understanding of the Ca2+ homeostasis of CPCs. In this work, CPCs immortalised by lentiviral administration of the human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) and grown in monolayer cultures were studied. Expressions of all three IP3Rs were confirmed, but no RyR subtypes were detected. Ca2+ oscillations observed in CPCs were predominantly dependent on Ca2+ release and store replenishment via store-operated Ca2+ entry; CPCs express both STIM1 and Orai1 proteins. Expressions of adenosine receptor mRNAs were verified, and adenosine elicited Ca2+ transients. Various P2 receptor subtypes were identified; P2Y1 can bind ADP; P2Y4 is targeted by UTP; and ATP may evoke Ca2+ transients via detected P2X subtypes, as well as P2Y1 and P2Y2. Enzymatic breakdown of extracellular nucleotides by apyrase completely abrogated Ca2+ oscillations, suggesting that an autocrine/paracrine purinergic mechanism may drive Ca2+ oscillations in these cells. As CPCs possess a broad spectrum of functional molecular elements of Ca2+ signalling, Ca2+-dependent regulatory mechanisms can be supposed to influence their differentiation potential.
The mechanosensitive channel of small conductance (MscS)-like channel superfamily is present in cell-walled organisms throughout all domains of life (Bacteria, Archaea and Eukarya). In bacteria, members of this channel family play an integral role in the protection of cells against acute downward shifts in environmental osmolarity. In this review, we discuss how evolutionary ‘tinkering’ has taken MscS-like channels from their currently accepted physiological function in bacterial osmoregulation to potential roles in processes as diverse as amino acid efflux, Ca2+ regulation and cell division. We also illustrate how this structurally and functionally diverse family of channels represents an essential industrial component in the production of monosodium glutamate, an attractive antibiotic target and a rich source of membrane proteins for the studies of molecular evolution.
Small RGK GTPases, Rad, Gem, Rem1, and Rem2, are potent inhibitors of high-voltage-activated (HVA) Ca2+ channels expressed in heterologous expression systems. However, the role of this regulation has never been clearly demonstrated in the nervous system. Using transcriptional analysis, we show that peripheral nerve injury specifically upregulates Gem in mice dorsal root ganglia. Following nerve injury, protein expression was increased in ganglia and peripheral nerve, mostly under its phosphorylated form. This was confirmed in situ and in vitro in dorsal root ganglia sensory neurons. Knockdown of endogenous Gem, using specific small-interfering RNA (siRNA), increased the HVA Ca2+ current only in the large-somatic-sized neurons. Combining pharmacological analysis of the HVA Ca2+ currents together with Gem siRNA-transfection of larger sensory neurons, we demonstrate that only the P/Q-type Ca2+ channels were enhanced. In vitro analysis of Gem affinity to various CaVβx-CaV2.x complexes and immunocytochemical studies of Gem and CaVβ expression in sensory neurons suggest that the specific inhibition of the P/Q channels relies on both the regionalized upregulation of Gem and the higher sensitivity of the endogenous CaV2.1-CaVβ4 pair in a subset of sensory neurons including the proprioceptors. Finally, pharmacological inhibition of P/Q-type Ca2+ current reduces neurite branching of regenerating axotomized neurons. Taken together, the present results indicate that a Gem-dependent P/Q-type Ca2+ current inhibition may contribute to general homeostatic mechanisms following a peripheral nerve injury.
The world’s elderly population is expanding rapidly, and we are now faced with the significant challenge of maintaining or improving physical activity, independence, and quality of life in the elderly. Sarcopenia, the age-related loss of skeletal muscle mass, is characterized by a deterioration of muscle quantity and quality leading to a gradual slowing of movement, a decline in strength and power, increased risk of fall-related injury, and often, frailty. Since sarcopenia is largely attributed to various molecular mediators affecting fiber size, mitochondrial homeostasis, and apoptosis, the mechanisms responsible for these deleterious changes present numerous therapeutic targets for drug discovery. Muscle loss has been linked with several proteolytic systems, including the ubuiquitin-proteasome, lysosome-autophagy, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α/nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-κB) systems. Although many factors are considered to regulate age-dependent muscle loss, this gentle atrophy is not affected by factors known to enhance rapid atrophy (denervation, hindlimb suspension, etc.). In addition, defects in Akt-mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) and serum response factor (SRF)-dependent signaling have been found in sarcopenic muscle. Intriguingly, more recent studies indicated an apparent functional defect in autophagy- and myostatin-dependent signaling in sarcopenic muscle. In this review, we summarize the current understanding of the adaptation of many regulators in sarcopenia.
Hydrogen sulfide has emerged as an important endothelium-dependent vasodilator, but its role in shear stress-mediated dilation of coronary arteries is unclear. We examined the role of H2S on shear stress-mediated dilation of isolated mouse coronary arteries. In these vessels, Na2S produced concentration-dependent dilation, which was significantly inhibited by iberiotoxin and by 4-aminopyridine. In addition, BK and Kv currents in mouse coronary smooth muscle cells were directly activated by Na2S, suggesting that H2S produced vasodilation through BK and Kv channel activation. Using a pressure servo controller system, freshly isolated mouse coronary arteries were subjected to physiological levels of shear stress (1 to 25 dynes/cm2) and produced graded dilatory responses, but such effects were diminished in the presence of 100 μM Na2S. Pre-incubation with the cystathionine γ-lyase inhibitor, d,l-propargylglycine (PPG), resulted in a paradoxical augmentation of shear stress-mediated vasodilation. However, in the presence of L-NAME or in coronary arteries from eNOS knockout mice, PPG inhibited shear stress-mediated vasodilation, suggesting an interaction between NO and H2S signaling. Na2S inhibited eNOS activity in cultured mouse aortic endothelial cells and reduced the level of phospho-eNOS(serine 1177). These results suggest that both NO and H2S are important shear stress-mediated vasodilators in mouse coronary arteries but there is a complex interaction between these two signaling pathways that results in paradoxical vasoconstrictive effects of H2S through inhibition of NO generation.
Lipid rafts are cholesterol-enriched microdomains of the cell membrane. Here we investigate the localization of the pore forming K+-channel α-subunit Kv4.2 and the β-subunit KChIP2, underlying the transient outward K+ current (I to), in lipid rafts in left ventricular myocytes. Furthermore, we explored the impact of membrane cholesterol depletion (using 20 mM methyl-beta-cyclodextrin (MBCD)) on K+ outward currents. Cholesterol-saturated MBCD (20 mM) served as control. Myocytes were isolated from the left ventricular free wall of Wistar rats. The Triton X-100 (4 °C) insoluble fraction of whole cell protein was analyzed by sucrose density gradient centrifugation followed by Western blot. Kv4.2 and KChIP2 were partially detected in low-density fractions (lipid rafts). MBCD treatment (5 min) resulted in a shift of Kv4.2 and KChIP2 towards high-density fractions. K+ currents were assessed by whole-cell patch-clamp. MBCD treatment resulted in a 29 ± 3 % decrease in I to (20.0 ± 1.6pApF-1 vs. 28.5 ± 2.0pApF-1, n = 15, p < 0.001, V Pip = 40 mV) within 5 min. Control solution resulted in a significantly smaller reduction in I to (17 ± 3 %, p < 0.001, p < 0.01 compared with MBCD). MBCD induced a 38 ± 9 % increase in the non-inactivating current component (I sus) (10.1 ± 0.6pApF-1 vs. 7.6 ± 0.4pApF-1, n = 15, p < 0.001). This effect was absent in control solution. The increase in I sus was not sensitive to 100 μM 4-aminopyridine or 20 mM tetraethylammonium, making a contribution of Kv1.5 or Kv2.1 unlikely. In conclusion, in rat ventricular cardiomyocytes, a fraction of Kv4.2 and KChIP2 is localized in lipid rafts. Membrane cholesterol depletion results in ~12 % net reduction of I to, a redistribution of the channel proteins Kv4.2 and KChIP2 and an increased delayed rectifier current.
The expression pattern and functional roles for calcium-activated potassium channels of the KCa2.x family and KCa1.1 have been extensively examined in central neurons. Recent work indicates that intermediate conductance calcium-activated potassium channels (KCa3.1) are also expressed in central neurons of the cerebellum and spinal cord. The current study used immunocytochemistry and GFP linked to KCNN4 promoter activity in a transgenic mouse to determine the expression pattern of KCa3.1 channels in rat or mouse neocortex, hippocampus, thalamus, and cerebellum. KCa3.1 immunolabel and GFP expression were closely matched and detected in both excitatory and inhibitory cells of all regions examined. KCa3.1 immunolabel was localized primarily to the somatic region of excitatory cells in cortical structures but at the soma and over longer segments of dendrites of cells in deep cerebellar nuclei. More extensive labeling was apparent for inhibitory cells at the somatic and dendritic level with no detectable label associated with axon tracts or regions of intense synaptic innervation. The data indicate that KCa3.1 channels are expressed in the CNS with a differential pattern of distribution between cells, suggesting important functional roles for these calcium-activated potassium channels in regulating the excitability of central neurons.
Metabolic and biochemical changes during breast carcinogenesis enhance cellular acid production. Extrusion of the acid load from the cancer cells raises intracellular pH, while it decreases extracellular pH creating an inverted pH gradient across the plasma membrane compared to normal cells and promoting cancer cell metabolism, proliferation, migration, and invasion. We investigated the effects of breast carcinogenesis on the mechanisms of cellular pH control using multicellular epithelial organoids freshly isolated from human primary breast carcinomas and matched normal breast tissue. Intracellular pH was measured by fluorescence microscopy, while protein expression was investigated by immunofluorescence imaging and immunoblotting. We found that cellular net acid extrusion increased during human breast carcinogenesis due to enhanced Na+,HCO3−-cotransport, which created an alkaline shift (~0.3 units of magnitude) in steady-state intracellular pH of human primary breast carcinomas compared to normal breast tissue. Na+/H+-exchange activity and steady-state intracellular pH in the absence of CO2/HCO3− were practically unaffected by breast carcinogenesis. These effects were evident under both acidic (pH 6.8, representative of the tumor microenvironment) and physiological (pH 7.4) extracellular conditions. Protein expression of the Na+,HCO3−-cotransporter NBCn1 (SLC4A7), which has been linked to breast cancer susceptibility in multiple genome-wide association studies, was twofold higher in human breast carcinomas compared to matched normal breast tissue. Protein expression of the Na+/H+-exchanger NHE1 (SLC9A1) was markedly less affected. We propose that upregulated NBCn1 during human breast carcinogenesis contributes to the characteristic acid distribution within human breast carcinomas and thereby plays a pathophysiological role for breast cancer development and progression.
In smooth muscle cells (SMCs), the intracellular chloride ion (Cl−) concentration is high due to accumulation by Cl−/HCO3− exchange and Na+–K+–Cl− cotransportation. The equilibrium potential for Cl− (E Cl) is more positive than physiological membrane potentials (E m), with Cl− efflux inducing membrane depolarization. Early studies used electrophysiology and nonspecific antagonists to study the physiological relevance of Cl− channels in SMCs. More recent reports have incorporated molecular biological approaches to identify and determine the functional significance of several different Cl− channels. Both “classic” and cGMP-dependent calcium (Ca2+)-activated (ClCa) channels and volume-sensitive Cl− channels are present, with TMEM16A/ANO1, bestrophins, and ClC-3, respectively, proposed as molecular candidates for these channels. The cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) has also been described in SMCs. This review will focus on discussing recent progress made in identifying each of these Cl− channels in SMCs, their physiological functions, and contribution to diseases that modify contraction, apoptosis, and cell proliferation.
Stromal interaction molecule 1 (STIM1) mediates Ca2+ movements from the extracellular space to the cytosol through a store-operated Ca2+ entry (SOCE) mechanism in various cells including skeletal muscle cells. In the present study, to reveal the unidentified functional role of the STIM1 C terminus from 449 to 671 amino acids in skeletal muscle, binding assays and quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry were used to identify proteins binding in this region along with proteins that mediate skeletal muscle contraction and relaxation. STIM1 binds to sarcoplasmic/endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+-ATPase 1a (SERCA1a) via this region (called STIM1-SBR). The binding was confirmed in endogenous full-length STIM1 in rabbit skeletal muscle and mouse primary skeletal myotubes via co-immunoprecipitation assay and immunocytochemistry. STIM1 knockdown in mouse primary skeletal myotubes decreased Ca2+ uptake from the cytosol to the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) through SERCA1a only at micromolar cytosolic Ca2+ concentrations, suggesting that STIM1 could be required for the full activity of SERCA1a possibly during the relaxation of skeletal muscle. Various Ca2+ imaging experiments using myotubes expressing STIM1-SBR suggest that STIM1 is involved in intracellular Ca2+ distributions between the SR and the cytosol via regulating SERCA1a activity without affecting SOCE. Therefore, in skeletal muscle, STIM1 could play an important role in regulating Ca2+ movements between the SR and the cytosol.
Interleukin-17A (IL-17A) is an important pro-inflammatory cytokine that regulates leukocyte mobilization and recruitment. To better understand how IL-17A controls leukocyte trafficking across capillaries in the peripheral blood circulation, we used primary human dermal microvascular endothelial cells (HDMEC) to investigate their secretory potential and barrier function when activated with IL-17A and TNFα. Activation by TNFα and IL-17A causes phosphorylation of p38 as well as IκBα whereby NFκB subsequently becomes phosphorylated, a mechanism that initiates transcription of adhesion molecules such as E-selectin. Members of the neutrophil-specific GRO-family chemokines were significantly up-regulated upon IL-17A stimulation on the mRNA and protein level, whereas all tested non-neutrophil-specific chemokines remained unchanged in comparison. Moreover, a striking synergistic effect in the induction of granulocyte colony-stimulating factors (G-CSF) was elicited when IL-17A was used in combination with TNFα, and IL-17A was able to significantly augment the levels of TNFα-induced E-selectin and ICAM-1. In accordance with this observation, IL-17A was able to markedly increase TNFα-induced neutrophil adherence to HDMEC monolayers in an in vitro adhesion assay. Using a trans-well migration assay with an HDMEC monolayer as a barrier, we here show that pre-stimulating the endothelial cells with TNFα and IL-17A together enhances the rate of neutrophil transmigration compared to TNFα or IL-17A alone. These results show that IL-17A and TNFα act in cooperation to facilitate neutrophil migration across the endothelial cell barrier. In addition, the synergistic actions of IL-17A with TNFα to secrete G-CSF appear to be important for mobilizing neutrophils from the bone marrow to the blood stream.
The large-conductance Ca2+- and voltage-activated K+ (MaxiK, BK, BKCa, Slo1, KCa1.1) channel role in cell signalling is becoming apparent as we learn how the channel interacts with a multiplicity of proteins not only at the plasma membrane but also in intracellular organelles including the endoplasmic reticulum, nucleus, and mitochondria. In this review, we focus on the interactions of MaxiK channels with seven-transmembrane G protein-coupled receptors and discuss information suggesting that, the channel big C-terminus may act as the nucleus of signalling molecules including kinases relevant for cell death and survival. Increasing evidence indicates that the channel is able to associate with a variety of receptors including β-adrenergic receptors, G protein-coupled estrogen receptors, acetylcholine receptors, thromboxane A2 receptors, and angiotensin II receptors, which highlights the varied functions that the channel has (or may have) not only in regulating contraction/relaxation of muscle cells or neurotransmission in the brain but also in cell metabolism, proliferation, migration, and gene expression. In line with this view, MaxiK channels have been implicated in obesity and in brain, prostate, and mammary cancers. A better understanding on the molecular mechanisms underlying or triggered by MaxiK channel abnormalities like overexpression in certain cancers may lead to new therapeutics to prevent devastating diseases.
OAT-PG is a kidney-specific prostaglandin transporter and exclusively expressed at the basolateral membrane of proximal tubules in rodent kidneys. We previously reported that OAT-PG was dominantly expressed in the male kidney similar to the other SLC22 family proteins as organic anion transporter (OAT) 1 and OAT3. Recently, Wegner et al. revealed that a transcription factor, B-cell CLL/lymphoma 6 (BCL6), is associated with the male-dominant expressions of OAT1 and OAT3 in the rat kidney. Here, we performed the luciferase assay to investigate whether OAT-PG is also transcriptionally regulated by BCL6. However, the promoter activity of OAT-PG was not directly affected by BCL6 overexpression nor the testosterone treatment, suggesting that different regulatory mechanisms underlie the male-dominant transcriptional regulation of OAT-PG compared to those of OAT1 and OAT3. We newly found that adrenalectomy (Adx) of male rat caused a significant reduction of OAT-PG expression without any significant changes in the OAT1 and OAT3 expressions, and it was recovered by the dexamethasone administration. Furthermore, the renocortical PGE2 concentration was markedly increased in Adx male rat, concomitant with the downregulation of OAT-PG, and it was reduced to the basal level by dexamethasone treatment. In the luciferase assay, dexamethasone stimulated OAT-PG promoter activity but not OAT1. The luciferase activity responsiveness to dexamethasone was significantly reduced by the deletion of glucocorticoid response elements in the OAT-PG promoter region. These results suggest that glucocorticoid plays an important role in the regulation of the renocortical PGE2 concentration by the transcriptional regulation of OAT-PG in the rat kidney.
Once upon a time, the expression of the epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) was mainly assigned to the kidneys, colon and sweat glands where it was considered to be the main determinant of sodium homeostasis. Recent, though indirect, evidence for the possible existence of ENaC in a non-epithelial tissue was derived from the observation that the vascular endothelium is a target for aldosterone. Inhibitory actions of the intracellular aldosterone receptors by spironolactone and, more directly, by ENaC blockers such as amiloride supported this view. Shortly after, direct data on the expression of ENaC in vascular endothelium could be demonstrated. There, endothelial ENaC (EnNaC) could be defined as a major regulator of cellular mechanics which is a critical parameter in differentiating between vascular function and dysfunction. Foremost, the mechanical stiffness of the endothelial cell cortex, a layer 50–200 nm beneath the plasma membrane, has been shown to play a crucial role as it controls the production of the endothelium-derived vasodilator nitric oxide (NO) which directly affects the tone of the vascular smooth muscle cells. In contrast to soft endothelial cells, stiff endothelial cells release reduced amounts of NO, the hallmark of endothelial dysfunction. Thus, the combination of endothelial stiffness and myogenic tone might increase the peripheral vascular resistance. An elevation of arterial blood pressure is supposed to be the consequence of such functional changes. In this review, EnNaC is discussed as an aldosterone-regulated plasma membrane protein of the vascular endothelium that could significantly contribute to maintaining of an appropriate arterial blood pressure but, if overexpressed, could participate in the pathogenesis of arterial hypertension.
The human intestinal pathogen Giardia lamblia is a flagellated unicellular protozoan with pronounced medical and biological relevance. However, the basic physiology of Giardia trophozoites has been sparsely studied, especially the electrical and ionic properties of their cellular membrane which are virtually unknown. In this study, we were able to record and characterize the macroscopic ionic currents of Giardia trophozoite membrane by electrophysiological methods of the patch clamp technique. Giardia trophozoites showed a high current density (∼600 pA/pF at −140 mV) that was activated upon hyperpolarization. This current was carried by a chloride-selective channel (I Cl-G) and it was the most important determinant of the membrane potential in Giardia trophozoites. Moreover, this conductance was able to carry other halide anions and the sequence of permeability was Br− > Cl− ≈ I− ≫ F−. Besides the voltage-dependent inward-rectifying nature of I Cl-G, its activation and deactivation kinetics were comparable to those observed in ClC-2 channels. Extracellular pH modified the voltage-dependent properties of I Cl-G, shifting the activation curve from a V 1/2 = −79 ± 1 mV (pH 7.4) to −93 ± 2 mV (pH 8.4) and −112 ± 2 mV (pH 5.4). Furthermore, the maximal amplitude of I Cl-G measured at −100 mV showed dependence to external pH in a bell-shaped fashion reported only for ClC-2 channels. Therefore, our results suggest that I Cl-G possesses several functional properties similar to the mammalian ClC-2 channels.
Preadipocytes are widely used as an in vitro model to investigate proliferation, adipogenic differentiation, and lipodystrophy; however, cellular physiology and biology are not fully understood in human preadipocytes. The present study was to investigate the expression of transient receptor potential (TRP) channels in human preadipocytes and their potential roles in regulating proliferation and adipogenic differentiation using approaches of confocal microscopy, whole-cell patch voltage-clamp, reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction, Western blot, etc. We found that TRPV2, TRPV4, and TRPM7 channels were abundantly expressed in human preadipocytes. The intracellular Ca2+ transient activated by the TRPV2 activator probenecid was reversed or prevented by ruthenium red, a TRPV2 blocker. The TRPV4 channel activator, 4α-phorbol 12-13-dicaprinate, enhanced intracellular Ca2+ oscillations, and the effect was inhibited by the TRPV4 blocker RN-1734. TRPM7 current was recorded with dialysis of Mg2+-free pipette solution, which was inhibited by the TRP channel blocker 2-aminoethoxydiphenyl borate and enhanced by acidic extracellular pH. Silencing TRPV2 or TRPM7, but not TRPV4, significantly reduced cell proliferation via inhibiting cyclin D1, cyclin E, and p-ERK1/2. Interestingly, individually silencing these three channels decreased adipogenic differentiation of human preadipocytes by reducing p-Akt kinase. Our results demonstrate for the first time that functional TRPV2, TRPV4, and TRPM7 channels are abundantly expressed in human preadipocytes. TRPV2 and TRPM7, but not TRPV4, regulate cell proliferation via activating cyclin D1, cyclin E, and p-ERK1/2, while they are all involved in adipogenesis in human preadipocytes via phosphorylating Akt kinase.
Circulating leptin levels are elevated in obesity and hyperleptinaemia has been postulated to be an independent risk factor for the development of cardiovascular diseases. Although many studies have been published on the mechanisms involved in the effects of leptin on cardiac function and pathological remodeling, scarce information is currently available analyzing the influence of prolonged leptin treatment on ionic cardiac channels remodeling in adult ventricular myocytes. Enzymatically isolated adult rat ventricular myocytes were treated with leptin or vehicle for 48h. Real-Time RT-PCR were used to analyze mRNA expression of Kir2.1, Cav1.2, Cav 3.1, Kv4.2 and Kv4.3 α-subunits and KChIP2 auxiliary subunit. The fast transient outward potassium channels (Itof) α-subunits Kv4.2, Kv4.3 and KChIP2 were analyzed by Western-blot. The fast transient outward potassium current and the action potentials were recorded in isolated myocytes by the whole-cell patch-clamp technique. Leptin treatment induced an up-regulation of Kv4.2, Kv4.3 and KChIP2 subunits mRNA expression. However, transcriptional levels of Kir2.1, Cav1.2, or Cav3.1 α-subunit channels were unmodified by leptin. Protein expression levels of Kv4.2, Kv4.3 and KChIP2 subunits were also increased by leptin. The electrophysiological study showed that leptin increases the fast transient outward potassium current amplitudes and densities shortening action potential duration. In addition, leptin activated Akt signaling in cardiomyocytes and this mechanism was involved in the effect of leptin on Itof channels. In conclusión, leptin increases both the expression and function of Itof channels in adult ventricular myocytes and this mechanism involves Akt signaling. Altogether these data suggest that leptin could exert beneficial or detrimental effects depending on the initial ventricular myocyte repolarizing reserve.
Cholangiocytes, bile duct lining cells, actively adjust the amount of cholesterol and bile acids in bile through expression of enzymes and channels involved in transportation and metabolism of the cholesterol and bile acids. Herein, we report molecular mechanisms regulating bile acid biosynthesis in cholangiocytes. Among the cytochrome p450 (Cyp) enzymes involved in bile acid biosynthesis, sterol 27-hydroxylase (Cyp27) that is the rate-limiting enzyme for the acidic pathway of bile acid biosynthesis expressed in cholangiocytes. Expression of other Cyp enzymes for the basic bile acid biosynthesis was hardly detected. The Cyp27 expression was negatively regulated by a hydrophobic bile acid through farnesoid X receptor (FXR), a nuclear receptor activated by bile acid ligands. Activated FXR exerted the negative effects by inducing an expression of fibroblast growth factor 15/19 (FGF15/19). Similar to its repressive function against cholesterol 7α-hydroxylase (Cyp7a1) expression in hepatocytes, secreted FGF15/19 triggered Cyp27 repression in cholangiocytes through interaction with its cognate receptor fibroblast growth factor receptor 4 (FGFR4). The involvements of FXR and FGFR4 for the bile acid-induced Cyp27 repression were confirmed in vivo using knockout mouse models. Different from the signaling in hepatocytes, wherein the FGF15/19-induced repression signaling is mediated by c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), FGF15/19-induced Cyp27 repression in cholangiocytes was mediated by p38 kinase. Thus, the results collectively suggest that cholangiocytes may be able to actively regulate bile acid biosynthesis in cholangiocytes and even hepatocyte by secreting FGF15/19. We suggest the presence of cholangiocyte-mediated intrahepatic feedback loop in addition to the enterohepatic feedback loop against bile acid biosynthesis in the liver.
The juxtaglomerular areas of mammalian kidneys express the gap junction proteins connexin 37, 40, 43, and 45. Among these, Cx40 plays a major role for the function of juxtaglomerular renin-expressing cells, while Cx37 and Cx45 appear to be less relevant in this context. Since the role of the remaining Cx43 for the function of renin expression is not well understood, this study aimed to systematically characterize the direct role of Cx43 for renin expression and secretion. For this aim, we generated mice with endothelium and with renin cell-specific deletions of Cx43, and we characterized the regulation of renin expression and renin secretion in the kidneys of these mice on normal salt diet and during chronic challenge of the renin system by pretreatment of mice with a low-salt diet in combination with an angiotensin I-converting enzyme inhibitor. We found that renal renin mRNA abundance, plasma renin concentration, and systolic blood pressure did not differ between wild-type, Cx43fl/fl Ren1d+/Cre mice as well as Cx43fl/fl Tie-2+/Cre mice under basal conditions nor under chronic stimulation by salt depletion. The localization of renin-expressing cells was also regular in kidneys of all genotypes, and moreover, regulation of renin secretion by beta-adrenergic stimulation and renal perfusion pressure measured in isolated perfused kidneys of Cx43fl/fl Ren1d+/Cre and Cx43fl/fl Tie-2+/Cre mice was not different from control. We infer from these results that Cx43 plays if at all only a minor role for the functional control of renin-producing cells in the kidney.
Abnormal QT prolongation in diabetic patients has become a clinical problem because it increases the risk of lethal ventricular arrhythmia. In an animal model of type 1 diabetes mellitus, several ion currents, including the slowly activating delayed rectifier potassium current (IKs), are altered. The IKs channel is composed of KCNQ1 and KCNE1 subunits, whose genetic mutations are well known to cause long QT syndrome. Although insulin is known to affect many physiological and pathophysiological events in the heart, acute effects of insulin on cardiac ion channels are poorly understood at present. This study was designed to investigate direct electrophysiological effects of insulin on IKs (KCNQ1/KCNE1) currents. KCNQ1 and KCNE1 were co-expressed in Xenopus oocytes, and whole cell currents were measured by a two-microelectrode voltage-clamp method. Acute application of insulin suppressed the KCNQ1/KCNE1 currents and phosphorylated Akt and extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), the two major downstream effectors, in a concentration-dependent manner. Wortmannin (10−6 M), a phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) inhibitor, attenuated the suppression of the currents and phosphorylation of Akt by insulin, whereas U0126 (10−5 M), a mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase (MEK) inhibitor, had no effect on insulin-induced suppression of the currents. In addition, insulin had little effect on KCNQ1 currents without KCNE1, which indicated an essential role of KCNE1 in the acute suppressive effects of insulin. Mutagenesis studies revealed amino acid residues 111–118 within the distal third C-terminus of KCNE1 as an important region. Insulin has direct electrophysiological effects on IKs currents, which may affect cardiac excitability.
Barker’s concept of ‘foetal programming’ proposes that intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) predicts complex metabolic diseases through relationships that may be further modified by the postnatal environment. Dietary restriction and deficit in methyl donors, folate, vitamin B12, and choline are used as experimental conditions of foetal programming as they lead to IUGR and decreased birth weight. Overfeeding and deficit in methyl donors increase central fat mass and lead to a dramatic increase of plasma free fatty acids (FFA) in offspring. Conversely, supplementing the mothers under protein restriction with folic acid reverses metabolic and epigenomic phenotypes of offspring. High-fat diet or methyl donor deficiency (MDD) during pregnancy and lactation produce liver steatosis and myocardium hypertrophy that result from increased import of FFA and impaired fatty acid β-oxidation, respectively. The underlying molecular mechanisms show dysregulations related with similar decreased expression and activity of sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) and hyperacetylation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ coactivator 1α (PGC-1α). High-fat diet and overfeeding impair AMPK-dependent phosphorylation of PGC-1α, while MDD decreases PGC-1α methylation through decreased expression of PRMT1 and cellular level of S-adenosyl methionine. The visceral manifestations of metabolic syndrome are under the influence of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress in overnourished animal models. These mechanisms should also deserve attention in the foetal programming effects of MDD since vitamin B12 influences ER stress through impaired SIRT1 deacetylation of HSF1. Taken together, similarities and synergies of high-fat diet and MDD suggest, therefore, considering their consecutive or contemporary influence in the mechanisms of complex metabolic diseases.
Ions and water transported across the endothelium lining the blood–brain barrier contribute to the fluid secreted into the brain and are important in maintaining appropriate volume and ionic composition of brain interstitial fluid. Changes in this secretion process may occur after stroke. The present study identifies at transcript and protein level ion transporters involved in the movement of key ions and examines how levels of certain of these alter following oxidative stress. Immunohistochemistry provides evidence for Cl−/HCO3− exchanger, AE2, and Na+, HCO3− cotransporters, NBCe1 and NBCn1, on brain microvessels. mRNA analysis by RT-PCR reveals expression of these transporters in cultured rat brain microvascular endothelial cells (both primary and immortalized GPNT cells) and also Na+/H+ exchangers, NHE1 (primary and immortalized) and NHE2 (primary cells only). Knock-down using siRNA in immortalized GPNT cells identifies AE2 as responsible for much of the Cl−/HCO3− exchange following extracellular chloride removal and NHE1 as the transporter that accounts for most of the Na+/H+ exchange following intracellular acidification. Transcript levels of both AE2 and NHE1 are increased following hypoxia/reoxygenation. Further work is now required to determine the localization of the bicarbonate transporters to luminal or abluminal membranes of the endothelial cells as well as to identify and localize additional transport mechanisms that must exist for K+ and Cl−.
Skeletal muscle excitation–contraction (E–C) coupling is altered in several models of phosphatidylinositol phosphate (PtdInsP) phosphatase deficiency and ryanodine receptor activity measured in vitro was reported to be affected by certain PtdInsPs, thus prompting investigation of the physiological role of PtdInsPs in E–C coupling. We measured intracellular Ca2+ transients in voltage-clamped mouse muscle fibres microinjected with a solution containing a PtdInsP substrate (PtdIns(3,5)P 2 or PtdIns(3)P) or product (PtdIns(5)P or PtdIns) of the myotubularin phosphatase MTM1. No significant change was observed in the presence of either PtdIns(5)P or PtdIns but peak SR Ca2+ release was depressed by ~30% and 50% in fibres injected with PtdIns(3,5)P 2 and PtdIns(3)P, respectively, with no concurrent alteration in the membrane current signals associated with the DHPR function as well as in the voltage dependence of Ca2+ release inactivation. In permeabilized muscle fibres, the frequency of spontaneous Ca2+ release events was depressed in the presence of the three tested phosphorylated forms of PtdInsP with PtdIns(3,5)P 2 being the most effective, leading to an almost complete disappearance of Ca2+ release events. Results support the possibility that pathological accumulation of MTM1 substrates may acutely depress ryanodine receptor-mediated Ca2+ release. Overexpression of a mCherry-tagged form of MTM1 in muscle fibres revealed a striated pattern consistent with the triadic area. Ca2+ release remained although unaffected by MTM1 overexpression and was also unaffected by the PtdIns-3-kinase inhibitor LY2940002, suggesting that the 3-phosphorylated PtdIns lipids active on voltage-activated Ca2+ release are inherently maintained at a low level, inefficient on Ca2+ release in normal conditions.
Chemoreceptor activation increases phrenic nerve activity (PNA) and sympathetic nerve activity (SNA). The dorsolateral pontine neurons, including the parabrachial nucleus and the Kölliker-Fuse (KF) region project to several brainstem areas involved in autonomic and respiratory regulation. Here the objective was to further test the hypothesis that the KF region could contribute to central and peripheral sympathetic chemoreflex activation. In urethane-anesthetized sino-aortic denervated or intact and vagotomized male Wistar rats (N = 7–8/group), hypercapnia (end-expiratory CO2 from 5 to 10 %) or KCN increased mean arterial pressure (MAP), splanchnic SNA, and PNA frequency and amplitude. Bilateral injection of muscimol (GABA-A agonist; 2 mM–50 nl) into the KF region increased resting PNA amplitude and reduced resting PNA frequency, without significant changes in resting MAP and SNA. Bilateral blockade of the KF region reduced the rise in MAP, sSNA, and PNA frequency and amplitude produced by hypercapnia or hypoxia. Our data suggest that the KF neurons could integrate and modulate breathing and sympathetic outflow during chemoreceptor activation.
The primary cilium has been the focus of intense research since it was discovered that mutations in ciliary/basal body localized proteins give rise to a multitude of disorders. While these studies have revealed the contribution of this sensory organelle to multiple signalling pathways, little is known about how it actually mediates downstream events and why its loss causes disease states. Ciliopathies are linked to defects in either structure or function of cilia and are often associated with kidney cysts. The ciliopathy, autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD), is caused by mutations to the PKD1 or PKD2 gene. The PKD gene products localize to the primary cilium, where they have been proposed to form a mechanosensory complex, sensitive to flow. Since mouse knockout models of Pkd1 or Pkd2 develop structurally normal cilia, it has been hypothesized that the loss of polycystins may lead to an impairment of flow sensing. Today, technically challenging patch clamp recordings of the primary cilium have become available, and the genetic relationship between polycystins (TRPPs) and the primary cilium has recently been dissected in detail.
Skeletal muscles contain several subtypes of myofibers that differ in contractile and metabolic properties. Transcriptional control of fiber-type specification and adaptation has been intensively investigated over the past several decades. Recently, microRNA (miRNA)-mediated posttranscriptional gene regulation has attracted increasing attention. MiR-23a targets key molecules regulating contractile and metabolic properties of skeletal muscle, such as myosin heavy-chains and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma, coactivator 1 alpha (PGC-1α). In the present study, we analyzed the skeletal muscle phenotype of miR-23a transgenic (miR-23a Tg) mice to explore whether forced expression of miR-23a affects markers of mitochondrial content, muscle fiber composition, and muscle adaptations induced by 4 weeks of voluntary wheel running. When compared with wild-type mice, protein markers of mitochondrial content, including PGC-1α, and cytochrome c oxidase complex IV (COX IV), were significantly decreased in the slow soleus muscle, but not the fast plantaris muscle of miR-23a Tg mice. There was a decrease in type IId/x fibers only in the soleus muscle of the Tg mice. Following 4 weeks of voluntary wheel running, there was no difference in the endurance exercise capacity as well as in several muscle adaptive responses including an increase in muscle mass, capillary density, or the protein content of myosin heavy-chain IIa, PGC-1α, COX IV, and cytochrome c. These results show that miR-23a targets PGC-1α and regulates basal metabolic properties of slow but not fast twitch muscles. Elevated levels of miR-23a did not impact on whole body endurance capacity or exercise-induced muscle adaptations in the fast plantaris muscle.
Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is an endothelium-derived hyperpolarizing factor. Since opposing vasoactive effects have been reported for H2O2 depending on the vascular bed and experimental conditions, this study was performed to assess whether H2O2 acts as a vasodilator in the rat mesenteric artery and, if so, to determine the underlying mechanisms. H2O2 elicited concentration-dependent relaxation in mesenteric arteries precontracted with norepinephrine. The vasodilatory effect of H2O2 was reversed by treatment with dithiothreitol. H2O2-elicited vasodilation was significantly reduced by blocking 4-aminopyridine (4-AP)-sensitive Kv channels, but it was resistant to blockers of big-conductance Ca2+-activated K+ channels and inward rectifier K+ channels. A patch-clamp study in mesenteric arterial smooth muscle cells (MASMCs) showed that H2O2 increased Kv currents in a concentration-dependent manner. H2O2 speeded up Kv channel activation and shifted steady state activation to hyperpolarizing potentials. Similar channel activation was seen with oxidized glutathione (GSSG). The H2O2-mediated channel activation was prevented by glutathione reductase. Consistent with S-glutathionylation, streptavidin pull-down assays with biotinylated glutathione ethyl ester showed incorporation of glutathione (GSH) in the Kv channel proteins in the presence of H2O2. Interestingly, conditions of increased oxidative stress within MASMCs impaired the capacity of H2O2 to stimulate Kv channels. Not only was the H2O2 stimulatory effect much weaker, but the inhibitory effect of H2O2 was unmasked. These data suggest that H2O2 activates 4-AP-sensitive Kv channels, possibly through S-glutathionylation, which elicits smooth muscle relaxation in rat mesenteric arteries. Furthermore, our results support the idea that the basal redox status of MASMCs determines the response of Kv currents to H2O2.
Induction of the antioxidant enzyme heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) affords cellular protection and suppresses proliferation of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) associated with a variety of pathological cardiovascular conditions including myocardial infarction and vascular injury. However, the underlying mechanisms are not fully understood. Over-expression of Cav3.2 T-type Ca2+ channels in HEK293 cells raised basal [Ca2+]i and increased proliferation as compared with non-transfected cells. Proliferation and [Ca2+]i levels were reduced to levels seen in non-transfected cells either by induction of HO-1 or exposure of cells to the HO-1 product, carbon monoxide (CO) (applied as the CO releasing molecule, CORM-3). In the aortic VSMC line A7r5, proliferation was also inhibited by induction of HO-1 or by exposure of cells to CO, and patch-clamp recordings indicated that CO inhibited T-type (as well as L-type) Ca2+ currents in these cells. Finally, in human saphenous vein smooth muscle cells, proliferation was reduced by T-type channel inhibition or by HO-1 induction or CO exposure. The effects of T-type channel blockade and HO-1 induction were non-additive. Collectively, these data indicate that HO-1 regulates proliferation via CO-mediated inhibition of T-type Ca2+ channels. This signalling pathway provides a novel means by which proliferation of VSMCs (and other cells) may be regulated therapeutically.
The slow component of the delayed rectifier K+ current (I Ks) plays an important role in the repolarization of action potentials in cardiac pacemaker cells and ventricular myocytes, and is regulated by various signaling pathways. Recent evidence has shown that calmodulin (CaM) is involved in modulation of diverse ion channels in cardiac myocytes under physiological and pathophysiological conditions. In the present study, we examined regulation of I Ks by Ca2+/CaM in guinea pig sinoatrial (SA) node cells using the whole-cell patch-clamp method. The density of I Ks was larger during intracellular dialysis with a higher Ca2+ concentration (pCa 7, Ca (+)) compared to that with a low Ca2+ concentration (pCa 10, Ca (−)). Intracellular application of CaM (400 nM) markedly potentiated I Ks with a Ca (+) pipette solution but not with a Ca (−) solution, thus showing that CaM potentiates I Ks in an intracellular Ca2+-dependent manner. Intracellular application of a specific Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) inhibitor, autocamtide-2 inhibitory peptide (AIP, 500 nM), markedly reduced I Ks activity in the presence of higher intracellular Ca2+. Similarly, bath application of another inhibitor, KN-93 (1 μM) also significantly suppressed I Ks. Finally, the stimulatory action on I Ks of Ca2+/CaM was abolished by pretreatment with KN-93. Taken together, these observations suggest that Ca2+/CaM stimulates I Ks in guinea pig SA node cells through activation of CaMKII. This enhancement of I Ks by CaMKII may be involved in modulation of SA node automaticity under physiological or pathophysiological condition.
Phospholipase C-related catalytically inactive proteins (PRIP-1/2) are previously reported to be involved in the membrane trafficking of GABAA receptor (GABAAR) and the regulation of intracellular Ca2+ stores. GABAAR-mediated currents can be regulated by the intracellular Ca2+. However, in PRIP-1/2 double-knockout (PRIP-DKO) mice, it remains unclear whether the kinetic properties of GABAARs are modulated by the altered regulation of intracellular Ca2+ stores. Here, we investigated whether GABAAR currents (IGABA) evoked by GABA puff in layer 3 (L3) pyramidal cells (PCs) of the barrel cortex are altered in PRIP-DKO mice. The deletion of PRIP-1/2 enhanced the desensitization of IGABA but induced a hump-like tail current (tail-I) at the GABA puff offset. IGABA and the hump-like tail-I were suppressed by GABAAR antagonists. The enhanced desensitization of IGABA and the hump-like tail-I in PRIP-DKO PCs were mediated by increases in the intracellular Ca2+ concentration and were largely abolished by a calcineurin inhibitor and ruthenium red. Calcium imaging revealed that Ca2+-induced Ca2+ release (CICR) and subsequent store-operated Ca2+ entry (SOCE) are more potent in PRIP-DKO PCs than in wild-type PCs. A mathematical model revealed that a slowdown of GABA-unbinding rate and an acceleration of fast desensitization rate by enhancing its GABA concentration dependency are involved in the generation of hump-like tail-Is. These results suggest that in L3 PCs of the barrel cortex in PRIP-DKO mice, the increased calcineurin activity due to the potentiated CICR and SOCE enhances the desensitization of GABAARs and slows the GABA-unbinding rate, resulting in their unusual resensitization following removal of GABA.
Voltage-gated sodium and calcium channels play key roles in the physiology of excitable cells. The alpha-1 subunit of these channels folds from a polypeptide chain of four homologous repeats. In each repeat, the cytoplasmic halves of the pore-lining helices contain exceptionally conserved asparagines. Such conservation implies important roles, which are unknown. Mutations of the asparagines affect activation and inactivation gating as well as the action of pore-targeting ligands, including local anesthetics and steroidal agonists batrachotoxin and veratridine. In the absence of the open-channel structures, underlying mechanisms are unclear. Here, we modeled the pore module of Cav1.2 and Nav1.4 channels and their mutants in the open and closed states using the X-ray structures of potassium and sodium channels as templates. The energy of each model was Monte Carlo-minimized. The asparagines do not face the pore in the modeled states. In the open-channel models, the asparagine residue in a given repeat forms an inter-repeat H-bond with a polar residue, which is typically nine positions downstream from the conserved asparagine in the preceding repeat. The H-bonds, which are strengthened by surrounding hydrophobic residues, would stabilize the open channel and shape the open-pore geometry. According to our calculation, the latter is much more sensitive to mutations of the asparagines than the closed-pore geometry. Rearrangement of inter-repeat contacts may explain effects of these mutations on the voltage dependence of activation and inactivation and action of pore-targeting ligands.
In addition to the TSH-cyclic AMP signalling pathway, calcium signalling is of crucial importance in thyroid cells. Although the importance of calcium signalling has been thoroughly investigated for several decades, the nature of the calcium channels involved in signalling is unknown. In a recent series of investigations using the well-studied rat thyroid FRTL-5 cell line, we showed that these cells exclusively express the transient receptor potential canonical 2 (TRPC2) channel. Our results suggested that the TRPC2 channel is of significant importance in regulating thyroid cell function. These investigations were the first to show that thyroid cells express a member of the TRPC family of ion channels. In this review, we will describe the importance of the TRPC2 channel in regulating TSH receptor expression, thyroglobulin maturation, intracellular calcium and iodide homeostasis and that the channel also regulates thyroid cell proliferation.
The purine adenosine 5′-triphosphate (ATP) and its breakdown products, ADP and adenosine, act as intercellular messenger molecules throughout the nervous system. While ATP contributes to fast synaptic transmission via activation of ionotropic P2X receptors as well as neuromodulation via metabotropic P2Y receptors, ADP and adenosine only stimulate P2Y and P1 receptors, respectively, thereby adjusting neuronal performance. Often glial cells are recipient as well as source for extracellular ATP. Hence, purinergic neuron-glia signalling contributes bidirectionally to information processing in the nervous system, including sensory organs and brain areas computing sensory information. In this review, we summarize recent data of purinergic neuron-glia communication in two sensory systems, the visual and the olfactory systems. In both retina and olfactory bulb, ATP is released by neurons and evokes Ca2+ transients in glial cells, viz. Müller cells, astrocytes and olfactory ensheathing cells. Glial Ca2+ signalling, in turn, affects homeostasis of the nervous tissue such as volume regulation and control of blood flow. In addition, ‘gliotransmitter’ release upon Ca2+ signalling—evoked by purinoceptor activation—modulates neuronal activity, thus contributing to the processing of sensory information.
The aim of the present study was to examine the effect of lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced inflammation on AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH) regulation in human skeletal muscle at rest and during exercise. Nine young healthy physically inactive male subjects completed two trials. In an LPS trial, the subjects received a single LPS injection (0.3 ng/kg body weight) and blood samples and vastus lateralis muscle biopsies were obtained before and 2 h after the LPS injection and immediately after a 10-min one-legged knee extensor exercise bout performed approximately 2½ h after the LPS injection. The exercise bout with muscle samples obtained before and immediately after was repeated in a control trial without LPS injection. The plasma tumor necrosis factor α concentration increased 17-fold 2 h after LPS relative to before. Muscle lactate and muscle glycogen were unchanged from before to 2 h after LPS and exercise increased muscle lactate and decreased muscle glycogen in the control (P < 0.05) and the LPS (0.05 ≤ P < 0.1) trial with no differences between the trials. AMPK, acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC) and PDH phosphorylation as well as PDHa activity were unaffected 2 h after LPS relative to before. Exercise decreased (P < 0.05) PDH and increased (P < 0.05) AMPK and ACC phosphorylation as well as increased (P < 0.05) PDHa activity similarly in the LPS and control trial. In conclusion, LPS-induced inflammation does not affect resting or exercise-induced AMPK and PDH regulation in human skeletal muscle. This suggests that metabolic flexibility during exercise is maintained during short-term low-grade inflammation in humans.
Biological organs are highly orchestrated systems with well-coordinated positioning, grouping, and interaction of different cell types within their specialized extracellular environment. Bioartificial organs are intended to be functional replacements of native organs generated through bioengineering techniques and hold the potential to alleviate donor organ shortage for transplantation. The development, production, and evaluation of such bioartificial organs require synergistic efforts of biology, material science, engineering, and medicine. In this review, we highlight the emerging platforms enabling structured assembly of multiple cell types into functional grafts and discuss recent advances and challenges in the development of bioartificial organs, including cell sources, in vitro organ culture, in vivo evaluation, and clinical considerations.
Since their discovery more than 30 years ago, low-threshold T-type Ca2+ channels (T channels) have been suggested to play a key role in many EEG waves of non-REM sleep, which has remained exclusively linked to the ability of these channels to generate low-threshold Ca2+ potentials and associated high-frequency bursts of action potentials. Our present understanding of the biophysics and physiology of T channels, however, highlights a much more diverse and complex picture of the pivotal contributions that they make to different sleep rhythms. In particular, recent experimental evidence has conclusively demonstrated the essential contribution of thalamic T channels to the expression of slow waves of natural sleep and the key role played by Ca2+ entry through these channels in the activation or modulation of other voltage-dependent channels that are important for the generation of both slow waves and sleep spindles. However, the precise contribution to sleep rhythms of T channels in cortical neurons and other sleep-controlling neuronal networks remains unknown, and a full understanding of the cellular and network mechanisms of sleep delta waves is still lacking.
The calcium-sensing receptor (CaR) is widely expressed throughout the entire cardiovascular system and is capable of activating signaling pathways in different cells. Alongside calcium, the CaR also responds to physiological polycations such as putrescine underlining a participation in physiological and pathophysiological processes. Here, we aimed to determine mechanisms as to how CaR activation affects the contractile responsiveness of ventricular cardiomyocytes under basal and stimulated conditions. For that purpose, cardiac myocytes from 3-month-old male Wistar rats were isolated, and the acute effects of an antagonist (NPS2390), agonists (putrescine and gadolinium), or of downregulation of the CaR by siRNA on cell shortening were recorded in a cell-edge-detection system. In addition, experiments were performed on muscle stripes and Langendorff preparations. Mechanistic insights were taken from calcium transients of beating fura-2 AM-loaded cardiomyocytes and western blots. Isolated ventricular cardiomyocytes constitutively express CaR. The expression in the atria is less pronounced. Acute inhibition of CaR reduced basal cell shortening of ventricular myocytes at nearly physiological levels of extracellular calcium. Inhibition of CaR strongly reduced contractility of ventricular muscle stripes but not of atria. Activation of CaR by putrescine and gadolinium influences the contractile responsiveness of isolated cardiomyocytes. Increased calcium mobilization from the sarcoplasmic reticulum via an IP3-dependent mechanism was responsible for amplified systolic calcium transients and a subsequent improvement in cell shortening. Alongside with these effects, activation of CaR increased relaxation velocity of the cells. In conclusion, ventricular CaR expression affects contractile parameters of ventricular heart muscle cells and modifies electromechanical coupling of cardiomyocytes.
Absence epilepsy accompanies the paroxysmal oscillations in the thalamocortical circuit referred as spike and wave discharges (SWDs). Low-threshold burst firing mediated by T-type Ca2+ channels highly expressed in both inhibitory thalamic reticular nuclei (TRN) and excitatory thalamocortical (TC) neurons has been correlated with the generation of SWDs. A generally accepted view has been that rhythmic burst firing mediated by T-type channels in both TRN and TC neurons are equally critical in the generation of thalamocortical oscillations during sleep rhythms and SWDs. This review examined recent studies on the T-type channels in absence epilepsy which leads to an idea that even though both TRN and TC nuclei are required for thalamocortical oscillations, the contributions of T-type channels to TRN and TC neurons are not equal in the genesis of sleep spindles and SWDs. Accumulating evidence revealed a crucial role of TC T-type channels in SWD generation. However, the role of TRN T-type channels in SWD generation remains controversial. Therefore, a deeper understanding of the functional consequences of modulating each T-type channel subtype could guide the development of therapeutic tools for absence seizures while minimizing side effects on physiological thalamocortical oscillations.
T-type calcium channels are expressed in many diverse tissues, including neuronal, cardiovascular, and endocrine. T-type calcium channels are known to play roles in the development, maintenance, and repair of these tissues but have also been implicated in disease when not properly regulated. Calcium channel blockers have been developed to treat various diseases and their use clinically is widespread due to both their efficacy as well as their safety. Aside from their established clinical applications, recent studies have suggested neuroprotective effects of T-type calcium channel blockers. Many of the current T-type calcium channel blockers could act on other molecular targets besides T-type calcium channels making it uncertain whether their neuroprotective effects are solely due to blocking of T-type calcium channels. In this review, we discuss these drugs as well as newly developed chemical compounds that are designed to be more selective for T-type calcium channels. We review in vitro and in vivo evidence of neuroprotective effects by these T-type calcium channel blockers. We conclude by discussing possible molecular mechanisms underlying the neuroprotective effects by T-type calcium channel blockers.
Cardiac automaticity is a fundamental physiological function in vertebrates. Heart rate is under the control of several neurotransmitters and hormones and is permanently adjusted by the autonomic nervous system to match the physiological demand of the organism. Several classes of ion channels and proteins involved in intracellular Ca2+ handling contribute to pacemaker activity. Voltage-dependent T-type Ca2+ channels are an integral part of the complex mechanism underlying pacemaking. T-type channels also contribute to impulse conduction in mice and humans. Strikingly, T-type channel isoforms are co-expressed in the cardiac conduction system with other ion channels that play a major role in pacemaking such as f- (HCN4) and L-type Cav1.3 channels. Pharmacologic inhibition of T-type channels reduces the spontaneous activity of isolated pacemaker myocytes of the sino-atrial node, the dominant heart rhythmogenic centre. Target inactivation of T-type Cav3.1 channels abolishes I Ca,T in both sino-atrial and atrioventricular myocytes and reduces the daily heart rate of freely moving mice. Cav3.1 channels contribute also to automaticity of the atrioventricular node and to ventricular escape rhythms, thereby stressing the importance of these channels in automaticity of the whole cardiac conduction system. Accordingly, loss-of-function of Cav3.1 channels contributes to severe form of congenital bradycardia and atrioventricular block in paediatric patients.
Pain-sensing sensory neurons (nociceptors) of the dorsal root ganglion (DRG) can become sensitized (hyperexcitable) in response to pathological conditions such as diabetes, which in turn may lead to the development of painful peripheral diabetic neuropathy (PDN). Because of insufficient knowledge about the mechanisms for this hypersensitization, current treatment for painful PDN has been limited to somewhat nonspecific systemic drugs having significant side effects or potential for abuse. Recent studies have established that the CaV3.2 isoform of T-channels makes a previously unrecognized contribution to sensitization of pain responses by enhancing excitability of nociceptors in animal models of type 1 and type 2 PDN. Furthermore, it has been reported that the glycosylation inhibitor neuraminidase can inhibit the native and recombinant CaV3.2 T-currents in vitro and completely reverse mechanical and thermal hyperalgesia in diabetic animals with PDN in vivo. Understanding details of posttranslational regulation of nociceptive channel activity via glycosylation may facilitate development of novel therapies for treatment of painful PDN. Pharmacological targeting the specific pathogenic mechanism rather than the channel per se may cause fewer side effects and reduce the potential for drug abuse in patients with diabetes.
We review the ins and outs of T-channel structure, focusing on the extracellular high-affinity metal-binding site and intracellular loops. The high-affinity metal-binding site was localized to repeat I of Cav3.2. Interestingly, a similar binding site was found in the high voltage-activated Cav2.3 channel where it controls the channels’ voltage dependence. Histidine at position 191 has a particularly interesting role in the high-affinity binding site, and its modification plays an important role in channel regulation by pharmacological agents that alter redox reactions. The intracellular loop connecting repeats I and II plays two important roles in Cav3.2 properties: one, its gating; and two, its surface expression. These studies have also identified a highly conserved intracellular gating brake that is predicted to form a helix–loop–helix structure. We conclude that the gating brake establishes important contacts with the gating machinery, thereby stabilizing a closed state of T-channels. This interaction is disrupted by depolarization, allowing the S6 segments to open and allowing Ca2+ ions to flow through. Studies in cultured hippocampal neurons provided novel insights into how mutations found in idiopathic generalized epilepsy patients increase seizure susceptibility by both altering T-current pacemaker currents and by activating Ca-activated transcription factors that regulate dendritic arborization. These studies reveal novel roles for T-channels to control cellular physiology.
T-type Ca2+ channels have gained, 15 years after cloning, an immense interest as novel players in very unexpected cell functions, and its many relations to diseases have been discovered. This special issue provides a state-of-the-art overview on novel functional properties of T-type Ca2+ channels, unexpected cellular functions, and most importantly will also summarizes and review the involvement of this “tiny, transient” type of Ca2+ channels in several diseases. It is tried to bridge the gap between molecular biophysical properties of T-type Ca2+ channels and diseases providing finally a translational view on this amazing ion channel.
We recently proposed that the transient receptor potential melastatin 5 (TRPM5) cation channel contributes to glucose-induced electrical activity of the β cell and positively influences glucose-induced insulin release and glucose homeostasis. In this study, we investigated Trpm5 expression and function in pancreatic islets from mouse models of type II diabetes. Gene expression analysis revealed a strong reduction of Trpm5 mRNA levels in pancreatic islets of db/db and ob/ob mice. The glucose-induced Ca2+ oscillation pattern in db/db and ob/ob islets mimicked those of Trpm5 −/− islets. Leptin treatment of ob/ob mice not only reversed the diabetic phenotype seen in these mice but also upregulated Trpm5 expression. Leptin treatment had no additional effect on Trpm5 expression levels when plasma insulin levels were comparable to those of the vehicle-injected control group. In murine β cell line, MIN6, insulin downregulated TRPM5 expression in a dose-dependent manner, unlike glucose or leptin. In conclusion, our data show that increased plasma insulin levels downregulate TRPM5 expression in pancreatic islets from leptin-deficient mouse models of type 2 diabetes.
Myosin binding protein-C (MyBP-C) was first discovered as an impurity during the purification of myosin from skeletal muscle. However, soon after its discovery, MyBP-C was also shown to bind actin. While the unique functional implications for a protein that could cross-link thick and thin filaments together were immediately recognized, most early research nonetheless focused on interactions of MyBP-C with the thick filament. This was in part because interactions of MyBP-C with the thick filament could adequately explain most (but not all) effects of MyBP-C on actomyosin interactions and in part because the specificity of actin binding was uncertain. However, numerous recent studies have now established that MyBP-C can indeed bind to actin through multiple binding sites, some of which are highly specific. Many of these interactions involve critical regulatory domains of MyBP-C that are also reported to interact with myosin. Here we review current evidence supporting MyBP-C interactions with actin and discuss these findings in terms of their ability to account for the functional effects of MyBP-C. We conclude that the influence of MyBP-C on muscle contraction can be explained equally well by interactions with actin as by interactions with myosin. However, because data showing that MyBP-C binds to either myosin or actin has come almost exclusively from in vitro biochemical studies, the challenge for future studies is to define which binding partner(s) MyBP-C interacts with in vivo.
Diastolic dysfunction prominently contributes to heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF). Owing partly to inadequate understanding, HFpEF does not have any effective treatments. Cardiac myosin-binding protein-C (cMyBP-C), a component of the thick filament of heart muscle that can modulate cross-bridge attachment/detachment cycling process by its phosphorylation status, appears to be involved in the diastolic dysfunction associated with HFpEF. In patients, cMyBP-C mutations are associated with diastolic dysfunction even in the absence of hypertrophy. cMyBP-C deletion mouse models recapitulate diastolic dysfunction despite in vitro evidence of uninhibited cross-bridge cycling. Reduced phosphorylation of cMyBP-C is also associated with diastolic dysfunction in patients. Mouse models of reduced cMyBP-C phosphorylation exhibit diastolic dysfunction while cMyBP-C phosphorylation mimetic mouse models show enhanced diastolic function. Thus, cMyBP-C phosphorylation mediates diastolic function. Experimental results of both cMyBP-C deletion and reduced cMyBP-C phosphorylation causing diastolic dysfunction suggest that cMyBP-C phosphorylation level modulates cross-bridge detachment rate in relation to ongoing attachment rate to mediate relaxation. Consequently, alteration in cMyBP-C regulation of cross-bridge detachment is a key mechanism that causes diastolic dysfunction. Regardless of the exact molecular mechanism, ample clinical and experimental data show that cMyBP-C is a critical mediator of diastolic function. Furthermore, targeting cMyBP-C phosphorylation holds potential as a future treatment for diastolic dysfunction.
Zinc (Zn) is a vital nutrient participating in a myriad of biological processes. The mechanisms controlling its transport through the plasma membrane are far from being completely understood. Two families of eukaryotic zinc transporters are known to date: the Zip (SLC39) and ZnT (SLC30) proteins. In addition, some types of plasmalemmal calcium (Ca)-conducting channels are implied in the cellular uptake of zinc. These ion channels are currently described as systems dedicated to the transport of Ca (and, to some extent, sodium (Na) ions). However, a growing body of evidence supports the view that some of them can also function as pathways for Zn transport. For instance, voltage-gated Ca channels and some types of glutamate-gated receptors have long been known to allow the entry of Zn. More recently, members of the TRP superfamily, another type of Ca-conducting channels, have been shown to permit the uptake of Zn into eukaryotic cells. The aim of this review article is to present the current knowledge supporting the notion that Ca-conducting channels take part in the plasmalemmal transport of Zn.
Cardiac myosin binding protein-C (cMyBP-C) is a modular protein anchored to the thick filament through interactions mediated by its C-terminal region. The N-terminal region of cMyBPC-C regulates myocardial contractility by modifying actin-myosin association. Phosphorylation of the N-terminal region diminishes cMyBP-C’s capacity to regulate actin-myosin function. Despite a substantial body of literature, many issues remain unclear regarding the structural and functional roles of cMyBP-C. While no high-resolution structures of the intact protein exist, crystallographic and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) structures of isolated N-terminal domains provide important molecular details regarding cMyBP-C’s role in controlling contractility. In this review, we summarize the emerging structural understanding of cMyBP-C with a particular emphasis placed on describing how its dynamic molecular interactions with both thin and thick filament proteins likely contribute to contractile regulation. Furthermore, we discuss the future directions and strategies by which we may improve the mechanistic understanding of its role in modulating cardiac muscle contraction.
Since the discovery of low-voltage-activated T-type calcium channels in sensory neurons and the initial characterization of their physiological function mainly in inferior olive and thalamic neurons, studies on neuronal T-type currents have predominantly focused on the generation of low-threshold spike (and associated action potential burst firing) which is strictly conditioned by a preceding hyperpolarization. This T-type current mediated activity has become an archetype of the function of these channels, constraining our view of the potential physiological and pathological roles that they may play in controlling the excitability of single cells and neural networks. However, greatly helped by the recent availability of the first potent and selective antagonists for this class of calcium channels, novel T-type current functions are rapidly being uncovered, including their surprising involvement in neuronal excitability at depolarized membrane potentials and their complex control of dendritic integration and neurotransmitter release. These and other data summarized in this short review clearly indicate a much wider physiological involvement of T-type channels in neuronal activity than previously expected.
Cardiac myosin-binding protein C is a key regulator of cardiac contractility and is capable of both activating the thin filament to initiate actomyosin motion generation and governing maximal sliding velocities. While MyBP-C’s C terminus localizes the molecule within the sarcomere, the N terminus appears to confer regulatory function by binding to the myosin motor domain and/or actin. Literature pertaining to how MyBP-C binding to the myosin motor domain and or actin leads to MyBP-C’s dual modulatory roles that can impact actomyosin interactions are discussed.
Myosin-binding protein-C (MyBP-C) is an accessory protein of the myosin filaments of vertebrate striated muscle. In the heart, it plays a key role in modulating contractility in response to β-adrenergic stimulation. Mutations in the cardiac isoform (cMyBP-C) are a leading cause of inherited hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Understanding cMyBP-C function and its role in disease requires knowledge of the structure of the molecule, its organization in the sarcomere, and its interactions with other sarcomeric proteins. Here we review the main structural features of this modular, elongated molecule and the properties of some of its key domains. We describe observations suggesting that the bulk of the molecule extends perpendicular to the thick filament, enabling it to reach neighboring thin filaments in the sarcomere. We review structural and functional evidence for interaction of its N-terminal domains with actin and how this may modulate thin filament activation. We also discuss the effects that phosphorylation of cMyBP-C has on some of these structural features and how this might relate to cMyBP-C function in the beating heart.
Excessive alcohol consumption is a major cause of acute pancreatitis, but the mechanism involved is not well understood. Recent investigations suggest that pancreatic ductal epithelial cells (PDECs) help defend the pancreas from noxious agents such as alcohol. Because the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) Cl− channel plays a major role in PDEC physiology and mutated CFTR is often associated with pancreatitis, we tested the hypothesis that ethanol affects CFTR to impair ductal function. Electrophysiological studies on native PDECs showed that ethanol (10 and 100 mM) increased basal, but reversibly blocked, forskolin-stimulated CFTR currents. The inhibitory effect of ethanol was mimicked by its non-oxidative metabolites, palmitoleic acid ethyl ester (POAEE) and palmitoleic acid (POA), but not by the oxidative metabolite, acetaldehyde. Ethanol, POAEE and POA markedly reduced intracellular ATP (ATPi) which was linked to CFTR inhibition since the inhibitory effects were almost completely abolished if ATPi depletion was prevented. We propose that ethanol causes functional damage of CFTR through an ATPi-dependent mechanism, which compromises ductal fluid secretion and likely contributes to the pathogenesis of acute pancreatitis. We suggest that the maintenance of ATPi may represent a therapeutic option in the treatment of the disease.
Transient receptor potential canonical (TRPC) 1, the first mammalian homologue of Drosophila trp gene, is distributed widely in mammalian cells and is involved in many physiological functions. TRPC1 is reported to be functional following heteromeric formation with other TRPC channels such as TRPC4 or TRPC5. It is known that the composition of this widely distributed TRPC1 is far from simple; functionality of such channels has been highly controversial. Furthermore, TRPC1 gene is known to have two splicing variants; one encodes long (TRPC1α) and the other encodes short (TRPC1β) TRPC1 isoforms, respectively. In this study, we examined the functionality of TRPC1/4 channels using various activation systems. Gq/11-coupled receptor (e.g., M1 or M3 receptors) stimulation significantly increased TRPC1α/4 currents but induced mild activation of TRPC1β/4. In addition, when expressed with TRPC4, TRPC1α acted as a pore-constituting subunit and not a β ancillary subunit. Multimerized with TRPC4, TRPC1α also generated strong pore field strength. We also found that Gi/o-coupled receptor (e.g., M2 receptor) stimulation was insufficient to activate TRPC1α/4 and TRPC1β/4 channels but selectively activated TRPC4 homomeric channels. These findings demonstrate that TRPC1/4 channel shows dynamic gating property depending on TRPC1 isoform subtypes and receptor stimulation system. Therefore, careful discrimination of the specificity of TRPC1 isoforms and upstream activation system is important in thorough understanding of TRPC1 and TRPC1/4 channels.
Hypoxia induces a loss of skeletal muscle mass and alters myogenesis in vitro, but whether it affects muscle regeneration in vivo following injury remains to be elucidated. We hypothesized that hypoxia would impair the recovery of muscle mass during regeneration. To test this hypothesis, the soleus muscle of female rats was injured by notexin and allowed to recover for 3, 7, 14, and 28 days under normoxia or hypobaric hypoxia (5,500 m) conditions. Hypoxia impaired the formation and growth of new myofibers and enhanced the loss of muscle mass during the first 7 days of regeneration, but did not affect the final recovery of muscle mass at 28 days. The impaired regeneration under hypoxic conditions was associated with a blunted activation of mechanical target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling as assessed by p70S6K and 4E-BP1 phosphorylation that was independent of Akt activation. The decrease in mTOR activity with hypoxia was consistent with the increase in AMP-activated protein kinase activity, but not related to the change in regulated in development and DNA response 1 protein content. Hypoxia increased the mRNA levels of the atrogene muscle ring finger-1 after 7 days of regeneration, though muscle atrophy F box transcript levels remained unchanged. The increase in MyoD and myogenin mRNA expression with regeneration was attenuated at 7 days with hypoxia. In conclusion, our results support the notion that the enhanced loss of muscle mass observed after 1 week of regeneration under hypoxic conditions could mainly result from the impaired formation and growth of new fibers resulting from a reduction in protein synthesis and satellite cell activity.
Despite advances in our understanding concerning the pathology of hypertension, the mechanisms that underpin the origin of hypertension remain to be fully elucidated. This enigma is, at least in part, due to inherent limitations of various animal models of hypertension. Here, we show the genetically modified Cyp1a1-Ren2 rat model, in which the onset and severity of angiotensin II-dependent hypertension can be tightly controlled, as an effective model for investigating increased sympathetic drive for the onset of hypertension. Cyp1a1-Ren2 rats were surgically prepared with radiotelemetric transmitters for the continuous measurement of arterial blood pressure (ABP). ABP was recorded in freely moving rats that were fed with either normal rat chow or a diet containing indole-3-carbinol (0.225 % w/w) for 7 days to induce hypertension. Structural morphology of and endothelial NO synthase (eNOS) protein expression in heart and/or vascular tissue were analyzed. Sympathetic tone was estimated using spectral analysis of heart rate variability. The progressive induction of hypertension over 7 days was matched with a parallel increase in sympathetic tone. By day 7 of hypertension, eNOS expression in the mesenteric artery was elevated. However, the elevated ABP, sympathetic tone, and eNOS had not elicited gross morphological remodeling of the heart or vasculature. Importantly, both the increase in sympathetic tone and overexpression of eNOS within the vasculature were reversed when ABP was returned to normal. We conclude that the Cyp1a1-Ren2 rat provides an effective model for investigating specific adverse and transient changes in central sympathetic modulation of arterial blood pressure during the early onset of angiotensin-dependent hypertension.
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common arrhythmia. Gain-of-function mutations in KCNQ1, the pore-forming α-subunit of the slow delayed rectifier K current (I Ks) channel, have been associated with AF. The purpose of this study was functional assessment of a mutation in KCNQ1 identified in a family with persistent AF and sinus bradycardia. We investigated whether this KCNQ1 missense mutation could form the genetic basis for AF and bradycardia simultaneously in this family. Sanger sequencing in a family with hereditary persistent AF identified a novel KCNQ1 variant (V241F) in a highly conserved region of S4 domain. The proband and her son developed bradycardia and persistent AF in an age-dependent fashion. The other son was a mutation carrier but he showed sinus bradycardia and not AF. Whole-cell patch clamp electrophysiology showed that V241F mutation in KCNQ1 shifted the activation curve to the left and dramatically slowed deactivation, leading to a constitutively open-like phenotype. Computer modeling showed that V241F would slow pacemaker activity. Also, simulations of atrial excitation predicted that V241F results in extreme shortening of action potential duration, possibly resulting in AF. Our study indicates that V241F might cause sinus bradycardia by increasing I Ks. Additionally, V241F likely shortens atrial refractoriness to promote a substrate for reentry. KCNQ1 mutations have previously been described in AF, yet this is the first time a mutation in KCNQ1 is associated with age-dependent bradycardia and persistent AF. This finding further supports the hypothesis that sinus node dysfunction contributes to the development of AF.
Thromboxane A2 (TXA2) is known to stimulate colonic cancer cell proliferation, although the mechanism has not been clarified. In this study, we compared the expression levels of Kv7.1 K+ channels between human colorectal cancer tissue and the accompanying non-tumor mucosa. Kv7.1 proteins were found to be consistently up-regulated in the cancer tissues from different patients. Kv7.1 was also expressed in human colonic cancer cell lines. Treatment of colonic cancer cells with 9,11-epithio-11,12-methano-thromboxane A2 (STA2), a stable analogue of TXA2, significantly increased whole-cell K+ currents sensitive to chromanol 293B, an inhibitor of Kv7.1 channels, in parallel with an increased expression of Kv7.1 proteins. In contrast, TXB2, an inactive metabolite of TXA2, had no effects on expression level and function of Kv7.1. A TXA2 receptor antagonist (SQ29548) and an inhibitor of cAMP-dependent protein kinase (Rp-8-Br-MB-cAMPS) inhibited STA2-induced increases in both Kv7.1 expression and chromanol 293B-sensitive K+ currents. Interestingly, STA2-stimulated proliferation of colonic cancer cells was inhibited by chromanol 293B. These results suggest that Kv7.1 channels are involved in the TXA2-induced cancer cell proliferation and that they are up-regulated by the TXA2 receptor-mediated cAMP pathway.
The powerful plant-derived irritant allyl isothiocyanate (AITC, aka mustard oil) induces hyperalgesia to heat in rodents and humans through mechanisms that are not yet fully understood. It is generally believed that AITC activates the broadly tuned chemosensory cation channel transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily A member 1 (TRPA1), triggering an inflammatory response that sensitizes the heat sensor transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily V member 1 (TRPV1). In the view of recent data demonstrating that AITC can directly activate TRPV1, we here explored the possibility that this compound sensitizes TRPV1 to heat stimulation in a TRPA1-independent manner. Patch-clamp recordings and intracellular Ca2+ imaging experiments in HEK293T cells over-expressing mouse TRPV1 revealed that the increase in channel activation induced by heating is larger in the presence of AITC than in control conditions. The analysis of the effects of AITC and heat on the current–voltage relationship of TRPV1 indicates that the mechanism of sensitization is based on additive shifts of the voltage dependence of activation towards negative voltages. Finally, intracellular Ca2+ imaging experiments in mouse sensory neurons isolated from Trpa1 KO mice yielded that AITC enhances the response to heat, specifically in the subpopulation expressing TRPV1. Furthermore, this effect was strongly reduced by the TRPV1 inhibitor capsazepine and virtually absent in neurons isolated from double Trpa1/Trpv1 KO mice. Taken together, these findings demonstrate that TRPV1 is a locus for cross sensitization between AITC and heat in sensory neurons and may help explaining, at least in part, the role of this channel in AITC-induced hyperalgesia to heat.
The membrane-spanning part of the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) Cl− channel comprises 12 transmembrane (TM) α-helices, arranged in 2 symmetrical groups of 6. However, those TMs that line the channel pore are not completely defined. We used patch clamp recording to compare the accessibility of cysteine-reactive reagents to cysteines introduced into different TMs. Several residues in TM11 were accessible to extracellular and/or intracellular cysteine reactive reagents; however, no reactive cysteines were identified in TMs 5 or 11. Two accessible residues in TM11 (T1115C and S1118C) were found to be more readily modified from the extracellular solution in closed channels, but more readily modified from the intracellular solution in open channels, as previously reported for T338C in TM6. However, the effects of mutagenesis at S1118 (TM11) on a range of pore functional properties were relatively minor compared to the large effects of mutagenesis at T338 (TM6). Our results suggest that the CFTR pore is lined by TM11 but not by TM5 or TM7. Comparison with previous works therefore suggests that the pore is lined by TMs 1, 6, 11, and 12, suggesting that the structure of the open channel pore is asymmetric in terms of the contributions of different TMs. Although TMs 6 and 11 appear to undergo similar conformational changes during channel opening and closing, the influence of these two TMs on the functional properties of the narrowest region of the pore is clearly unequal.
The purpose of this study was to determine how the mechanical efficiency of skeletal muscle is affected by level of activation. Experiments were performed in vitro (35 °C) using bundles of fibres from fast-twitch extensor digitorum longus (EDL) and slow-twitch soleus muscles of mice. Measurements were made of the total work and heat produced in response to 10 brief contractions. Mechanical efficiency was the ratio of total work performed to (total heat produced + work performed). Level of activation was varied by altering stimulation frequency between 40 and 160 Hz. Efficiency did not differ significantly between the two muscle types but was significantly lower using 40 Hz stimulation (mean efficiency ± SEM, 0.092 ± 0.012, n = 12, averaged across EDL and soleus) than at any of the other frequencies (160 Hz: 0.147 ± 0.007, n = 12). Measurements of the partitioning of energy output between force-dependent and force-independent components enabled calculation of the amount of Ca2+ released and number of cross-bridge cycles performed during the contractions. At 40 Hz stimulation frequency, less Ca2+ was released than at higher frequencies and fewer cross-bridge cycles were performed. Furthermore, less work was performed in each cross-bridge cycle. It is concluded that skeletal muscles are less efficient at low levels of activation than when fully activated and this indicates that level of activation affects not only the number of cycling cross-bridges but also the ability of individual cross-bridges to perform work.
Lithium, an inhibitor of glycogen synthase kinase 3 (GSK3), is widely used for the treatment of mood disorders. Side effects of lithium include nephrogenic diabetes insipidus, leading to renal water loss. Dehydration has in turn been shown to downregulate Klotho, which is required as co-receptor for the downregulation of 1,25(OH)2D3 formation by fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF23). FGF23 decreases and 1,25(OH)2D3 stimulates renal tubular phosphate reabsorption. The present study explored whether lithium influences renal Klotho expression, FGF23 serum levels, 1,25(OH)2D3 formation, and renal phosphate excretion. To this end, mice were analyzed after a 14-day period of sham treatment or of treatment with lithium (200 mg/kg/day subcutaneously). Serum antidiuretic hormone (ADH), FGF23, and 1,25(OH)2D3 concentrations were determined by ELISA or EIA, renal Klotho protein abundance and GSK3 phosphorylation were analyzed by Western blotting, and serum phosphate and calcium concentration by photometry. Lithium treatment significantly increased renal GSK3 phosphorylation, enhanced serum ADH and FGF23 concentrations, downregulated renal Klotho expression, stimulated renal calcium and phosphate excretion, and decreased serum 1,25(OH)2D3 and phosphate concentrations. In conclusion, lithium treatment upregulates FGF23 formation, an effect paralleled by substantial decrease of serum 1,25(OH)2D3, and phosphate concentrations and thus possibly affecting tissue calcification.
Anoctamin 6 (Ano6; TMEM16F gene) is a ubiquitous protein; the expression of which is defective in patients with Scott syndrome, an inherited bleeding disorder based on defective scrambling of plasma membrane phospholipids. For Ano6, quite diverse functions have been described: (1) it can form an outwardly rectifying, Ca2+-dependent and a volume-regulated Cl− channel; (2) it was claimed to be a Ca2+-regulated nonselective cation channel permeable for Ca2+; (3) it was shown to be essential for Ca2+-mediated scrambling of membrane phospholipids; and (4) it can regulate cell blebbing and microparticle shedding. Deficiency of Ano6 in blood cells from Scott patients or Ano6 null mice appears to affect all of these cell responses. Furthermore, Ano6 deficiency in mice impairs the mineralization of osteoblasts, resulting in reduced skeletal development. These diverse results have been obtained under different experimental conditions, which may explain some of the contradictions. This review therefore aims to summarize the currently available information on the diverse roles of Ano6 and tries to clear up some of the existing controversies.
Itch and pain are closely related but distinct sensations. They share largely overlapping mediators and receptors, and itch-responding neurons are also sensitive to pain stimuli. Itch-mediating primary sensory neurons are equipped with distinct receptors and ion channels for itch transduction, including Mas-related G protein-coupled receptors (Mrgprs), protease-activated receptors, histamine receptors, bile acid receptor, toll-like receptors, and transient receptor potential subfamily V1/A1 (TRPV1/A1). Recent progress has indicated the existence of an itch-specific neuronal circuitry. The MrgprA3-expressing primary sensory neurons exclusively innervate the epidermis of skin, and their central axons connect with gastrin-releasing peptide receptor (GRPR)-expressing neurons in the superficial spinal cord. Notably, ablation of MrgprA3-expressing primary sensory neurons or GRPR-expressing spinal cord neurons results in selective reduction in itch but not pain. Chronic itch results from dysfunction of the immune and nervous system and can manifest as neural plasticity despite the fact that chronic itch is often treated by dermatologists. While differences between acute pain and acute itch are striking, chronic itch and chronic pain share many similar mechanisms, including peripheral sensitization (increased responses of primary sensory neurons to itch and pain mediators), central sensitization (hyperactivity of spinal projection neurons and excitatory interneurons), loss of inhibitory control in the spinal cord, and neuro-immune and neuro-glial interactions. Notably, painful stimuli can elicit itch in some chronic conditions (e.g., atopic dermatitis), and some drugs for treating chronic pain are also effective in chronic itch. Thus, itch and pain have more similarities in pathological and chronic conditions.
Stretch-induced depolarizations of cardiomyocytes, which are related to activity of mechano-gated cation channels (MGCs), can lead to serious arrhythmias. However, signaling pathways leading to activation of mechano-gated channels by stretch remain almost unexplored. Using standard sharp microelectrodes, the present study addresses the hypothesis that tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) modulates stretch-induced electrophysiological abnormalities in rat atrial myocardium by a mechanism involving nitric oxide (NO)-dependent pathways. TNF-α (50 ng/ml) produced a marked prolongation of action potential, subsequently transforming into humplike depolarizations and, finally, leading to occurrence of arrhythmias. These effects developed slowly during 25 min of TNF-α application. Similar electrical effects were induced by stretching the preparations. A blocker of MGCs, Gd3+ (40 μM), completely abolished action potential (AP) prolongations and electrical abnormalities caused by TNF-α or stretch. Further, a donor of exogenous NO, S-nitroso-N-acetylpenicillamine SNAP (300 μM), evoked the same electrical abnormalities as TNF-α and tissue stretch. Both TNF-α and stretch failed to produce their typical effects after pretreatment of the preparations with the NO-synthase inhibitor L-NG-nitroarginine methyl ester (L-NAME) (100 μM). Thus, the present study shows (i) that TNF-α and the NO-donor SNAP evoke MGC-mediated electrical abnormalities in rat atrial myocardium in the absence of stretch that is very similar to stretch-evoked electrical events and (ii) that the TNF-α-induced electrical abnormalities are mediated by NO synthase. In conclusion, our data suggest that NO is an endogenous modulator of MGCs and mediates proarrhythmic effects of TNF-α in mammalian organism.
The present work investigated the participation of interscapular brown adipose tissue (IBAT), which is an important site for thermogenesis, in the anti-obesity effects of C75, a synthetic inhibitor of fatty acid synthase (FAS). We report that a single intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) injection of C75 induced hypophagia and weight loss in fasted male Wistar rats. Furthermore, C75 induced a rapid increase in core body temperature and an increase in heat dissipation. In parallel, C75 stimulated IBAT thermogenesis, which was evidenced by a marked increase in the IBAT temperature that preceded the rise in the core body temperature and an increase in the mRNA levels of uncoupling protein-1. As with C75, an i.c.v. injection of cerulenin, a natural FAS inhibitor, increased the core body and IBAT temperatures. The sympathetic IBAT denervation attenuated all of the thermoregulatory effects of FAS inhibitors as well as the C75 effect on weight loss and hypophagia. C75 induced the expression of Fos in the paraventricular nucleus, preoptic area, dorsomedial nucleus, ventromedial nucleus, and raphé pallidus, all of which support a central role of FAS in regulating IBAT thermogenesis. These data indicate a role for IBAT in the increase in body temperature and hypophagia that is induced by FAS inhibitors and suggest new mechanisms explaining the weight loss induced by these compounds.
Tonic inhibition mediated by persistent activation of γ-aminobutyric acidA (GABAA) receptors by ambient GABA plays a crucial role in the regulation of network excitability and neuronal signal processing. Varying degrees in the strength of tonic inhibition were detected across different cell types throughout the brain. Since sensory information flows through cortical layers in a specific order, the characteristics of tonic inhibition in different cortical layers are of interest. Therefore, we examined the properties of tonic inhibition in pyramidal neurons (PyNs) throughout the rat visual cortex. Layer 2/3 PyNs and burst-spiking PyNs in layers 5 and 6 showed prominent tonic GABAA currents. Tonic GABAA currents in layer 4 star PyNs and regular-spiking PyNs in layers 5 and 6 were much weaker. The magnitude of tonic currents correlated well with the inhibition of spike generation. The amplitude of tonic GABAA currents measured with bicuculline and gabazine, the two different GABAA receptor blockers, did not differ. The differences in the expression levels of extrasynaptic GABAA receptors might be the major contributor to the differences in tonic GABAA currents among cell types. Furthermore, α5 subunits might contribute significantly to tonic currents in infragranular burst-spiking PyNs, especially in layer 5. These results suggest that ambient GABA might exert differential effects on the neuronal integration in a layer- and cell-type-specific manner and thus contribute to the processing of sensory properties by selectively tuning the signals flowing through the visual cortex.
Members of the TMEM16 family have recently been described as Ca2+-activated Cl− channels. They have been implicated in cancer and appear to be associated with poor patient prognosis. Here, we investigate the role of TMEM16 channels in cell migration, which is largely unknown. We focused on TMEM16A and TMEM16F channels that have the highest expression of TMEM16 channels in Ehrlich Lettre ascites (ELA) cells. Due to the lack of specific pharmacological modulators, we employed a miRNA approach and stably knocked down the expression of TMEM16A and TMEM16F channels, respectively. Migration analysis shows that TMEM16A KD clones are affected in their directional migration, whereas TMEM16F KD clones show a 40 % reduced rate of cell migration. Moreover, TMEM16A KD clones have a smaller projected cell area, and they are rounder than TMEM16F KD clones. The morphological changes are linearly correlated with the directionality of cells. TMEM16A and TMEM16F, thus, have an important function in cell migration—TMEM16A in directional migration, TMEM16F in determination of the speed of migration. We conclude that TMEM16A and TMEM16F channels have a distinct impact on the steering and motor mechanisms of migrating ELA cells.
The mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) is considered an important role in the muscular adaptations to exercise. It has been proposed that exercise-induced signaling to mTORC1 do not require classic growth factor PI3K/Akt signaling. Activation of IKKβ and the mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) Erk1/2 and p38 has been suggested to link inflammation and cellular stress to activation of mTORC1 through the tuberous sclerosis 1 (TSC1)/tuberous sclerosis 2 (TSC2) complex. Consequently, activation of these proteins constitutes potential alternative mechanisms of mTORC1 activation following exercise. Previously, we demonstrated that mTOR is preferentially activated in response to resistance exercise compared to endurance exercise in trained individuals without concomitant activation of Akt. In the present study, we extended this investigation by examining IκB kinase complex (IKK), TSC1, MAPK, and upstream Akt activators, along with gene expression of selected cytokines, in skeletal muscles from these subjects. Biopsies were sampled prior to, immediately after, and in the recovery period following resistance exercise, endurance exercise, and control interventions. The major finding was that IKKβ phosphorylation increased exclusively after resistance exercise. No changes in TSC1, Erk1/2, insulin receptor, or insulin receptor substrate 1 phosphorylation were observed in any of the groups, while p38 phosphorylation was higher in the resistance exercise group compared to both other groups immediately after the intervention. Resistance and endurance exercise increased IL6, IL8, and TNFα gene expression immediately after exercise. The non-exercise control group demonstrated that cytokine gene expression is also sensitive to repeated biopsy sampling, whereas no effect of repeated biopsy sampling on protein expression and phosphorylation was observed. In conclusion, resistance exercise, but not endurance exercise, increases IKKβ phosphorylation in trained human subjects, which support the idea that IKKβ can influence the activation of mTORC1 in human skeletal muscle.
The zebrafish serves as a promising transgenic animal model that can be used to study cardiac Ca2+ regulation. However, mechanisms of sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) Ca2+ handling in the zebrafish heart have not been systematically explored. We found that in zebrafish ventricular myocytes, the action potential-induced Ca2+ transient is mainly (80 %) mediated by Ca2+ influx via L-type Ca2+ channels (LTCC) and only 20 % by Ca2+ released from the SR. This small contribution of the SR to the Ca2+ transient was not the result of depleted SR Ca2+ load. We found that the ryanodine receptor (RyR) expression level in zebrafish myocytes was ∼72 % lower compared to rabbit myocytes. In permeabilized myocytes, increasing cytosolic [Ca2+] from 100 to 350 nM did not trigger SR Ca2+ release. However, an application of a low dose of caffeine activated Ca2+ sparks. These results show that the zebrafish cardiac RyR has low sensitivity to the mechanism of Ca2+-induced Ca2+ release. Activation of protein kinase A by forskolin increased phosphorylation of the RyR in zebrafish myocardium. In half of the studied cells, an increased Ca2+ transient by forskolin was entirely mediated by augmentation of LTCC current. In the remaining myocytes, the forskolin action was associated with an increase of both LTCC and SR Ca2+ release. These results indicate that the mechanism of excitation–contraction coupling in zebrafish myocytes differs from the mammalian one mainly because of the small contribution of SR Ca2+ release to the Ca2+ transient. This difference is due to a low sensitivity of RyRs to cytosolic [Ca2+].
Several organic cations, such as guanidino compounds and polyamines, have been found to accumulate in plasma of patients with kidney failure due to inadequate renal clearance. Here, we studied the interaction of cationic uremic toxins with renal organic cation transport in a conditionally immortalized human proximal tubule epithelial cell line (ciPTEC). Transporter activity was measured and validated in cell suspensions by studying uptake of the fluorescent substrate 4-(4-(dimethylamino)styryl)-N-methylpyridinium-iodide (ASP+). Subsequently, the inhibitory potencies of the cationic uremic toxins, cadaverine, putrescine, spermine and spermidine (polyamines), acrolein (polyamine breakdown product), guanidine, and methylguanidine (guanidino compounds) were determined. Concentration-dependent inhibition of ASP+ uptake by TPA, cimetidine, quinidine, and metformin confirmed functional endogenous organic cation transporter 2 (OCT2) expression in ciPTEC. All uremic toxins tested inhibited ASP+ uptake, of which acrolein required the lowest concentration to provoke a half-maximal inhibition (IC50 = 44 ± 2 μM). A Dixon plot was constructed for acrolein using three independent inhibition curves with 10, 20, or 30 μM ASP+, which demonstrated competitive or mixed type of interaction (K i = 93 ± 16 μM). Exposing the cells to a mixture of cationic uremic toxins resulted in a more potent and biphasic inhibitory response curve, indicating complex interactions between the toxins and ASP+ uptake. In conclusion, ciPTEC proves a suitable model to study cationic xenobiotic interactions. Inhibition of cellular uptake transport was demonstrated for several uremic toxins, which might indicate a possible role in kidney disease progression during uremia.
The mineralocorticoid receptor (MR), a member of the steroid receptor family, regulates blood pressure by mediating the effects of the hormone aldosterone on renal sodium handling. In recent years, it has become clear that MR is expressed in vascular smooth muscle cells (SMCs), and interest has grown in understanding the direct role of SMC MR in regulating vascular function. This interest stems from multiple clinical studies where MR inhibitor treatment reduced the incidence of cardiovascular events and mortality. This review summarizes the most recent advances in our understanding of SMC MR in regulating normal vascular function and in promoting vascular disease. Many new studies suggest a role for SMC MR activation in stimulating vascular contraction and contributing to vessel inflammation, fibrosis, and remodeling. These detrimental vascular effects of MR activation appear to be independent of changes in blood pressure and are synergistic with the presence of endothelial dysfunction or damage. Thus, in humans with underlying cardiovascular disease or cardiovascular risk factors, SMC MR activation may promote hypertension, atherosclerosis, and vascular aging. Further exploration of the molecular mechanisms for the effects of SMC MR activation has the potential to identify novel therapeutic targets to prevent or treat common cardiovascular disorders.
TASK-2 (K2P5.1) is a background K+ channel opened by extra- or intracellular alkalinisation that plays a role in renal bicarbonate handling, central chemoreception and cell volume regulation. Here, we present results that suggest that TASK-2 is also modulated by Gβγ subunits of heterotrimeric G protein. TASK-2 was strongly inhibited when GTP-γ-S was used as a replacement for intracellular GTP. No inhibition was present using GDP-β-S instead. Purified Gβγ introduced intracellularly also inhibited TASK-2 independently of whether GTP or GDP-β-S was present. The effects of GTP-γ-S and Gβγ subunits were abolished by neutralisation of TASK-2 C terminus double lysine residues K257–K258 or K296–K297. Use of membrane yeast two hybrid (MYTH) experiments and immunoprecipitation assays using tagged proteins gave evidence for a physical interaction between Gβ1 and Gβ2 subunits and TASK-2, in agreement with expression of these subunits in proximal tubule cells. Co-immunoprecipitation was impeded by mutating C terminus K257–K258 (but not K296–K297) to alanines. Gating by extra- or intracellular pH was unaltered in GTP-γ-S-insensitive TASK-2-K257A-K258A mutant. Shrinking TASK-2-expressing cells in hypertonic solution decreased the current to 36 % of its initial value. The same manoeuvre had a significantly diminished effect on TASK-2-K257A-K258A- or TASK-2-K296-K297-expressing cells, or in cells containing intracellular GDP-β-S. Our data are compatible with the concept that TASK-2 channels are modulated by Gβγ subunits of heterotrimeric G protein. We propose that this modulation is a novel way in which TASK-2 can be tuned to its physiological functions.
Cardiac atrophy as a consequence of mechanical unloading develops following exposure to microgravity or prolonged bed rest. It also plays a central role in the reverse remodelling induced by left ventricular unloading in patients with heart failure. Surprisingly, the intracellular Ca2+ transients which are pivotal to electromechanical coupling and to cardiac plasticity were repeatedly found to remain unaffected in early cardiac atrophy. To elucidate the mechanisms underlying the preservation of the Ca2+ transients, we investigated Ca2+ cycling in cardiomyocytes from mechanically unloaded (heterotopic abdominal heart transplantation) and control (orthotopic) hearts in syngeneic Lewis rats. Following 2 weeks of unloading, sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) Ca2+ content was reduced by ~55 %. Atrophic cardiac myocytes also showed a much lower frequency of spontaneous diastolic Ca2+ sparks and a diminished systolic Ca2+ release, even though the expression of ryanodine receptors was increased by ~30 %. In contrast, current clamp recordings revealed prolonged action potentials in endocardial as well as epicardial myocytes which were associated with a two to fourfold higher sarcolemmal Ca2+ influx under action potential clamp. In addition, Cav1.2 subunits which form the pore of L-type Ca2+ channels (LTCC) were upregulated in atrophic myocardium. These data suggest that in early cardiac atrophy induced by mechanical unloading, an augmented sarcolemmal Ca2+ influx through LTCC fully compensates for a reduced systolic SR Ca2+ release to preserve the Ca2+ transient. This interplay involves an electrophysiological remodelling as well as changes in the expression of cardiac ion channels.
Methylmercury, a potent environmental pollutant responsible for fatal food poisoning, blocked calcium channels of bovine chromaffin cells in a time- and concentration-dependent manner with an IC50 of 0.93 μM. This blockade was not reversed upon wash-out and was greater at more depolarising holding potentials (i.e. 21 % at −110 mV and 60 % at −50 mV, after 3 min perfusion with methylmercury). In ω-toxins-sensitive calcium channels, methylmercury caused a higher blockade of I Ba than in ω-toxins-resistant ones, in which a lower blockade was detected. The sodium current was also blocked by acute application of methylmercury in a time- and concentration-dependent manner with an IC50 of 1.05 μM. The blockade was not reversed upon wash-out of the drug. The drug inhibited sodium current at all test potentials and shows a shift of the I-V curve to the left of about 10 mV. Intracellular dialysis with methylmercury caused no blockade of calcium or sodium channels. Voltage-dependent potassium current was not affected by methylmercury. Calcium- and voltage-dependent potassium current was also drastically depressed. This blockade was related to the prevention of Ca2+ influx through voltage-dependent calcium channels coupled to BK channels. Under current-clamp conditions, the blockade of ionic current present during the generation and termination of action potentials led to a drastic alteration of cellular excitability. The application of methylmercury greatly reduced the shape and the number of electrically evoked action potentials. Taken together, these results point out that the neurotoxic action evoked by methylmercury may be associated to alteration of cellular excitability by blocking ionic currents responsible for the generation and termination of action potentials.
The plasma membrane transporters for the neurotransmitter glutamate belong to the solute carrier 1 family. They are secondary active transporters, taking up glutamate into the cell against a substantial concentration gradient. The driving force for concentrative uptake is provided by the cotransport of Na+ ions and the countertransport of one K+ in a step independent of the glutamate translocation step. Due to eletrogenicity of transport, the transmembrane potential can also act as a driving force. Glutamate transporters are expressed in many tissues, but are of particular importance in the brain, where they contribute to the termination of excitatory neurotransmission. Glutamate transporters can also run in reverse, resulting in glutamate release from cells. Due to these important physiological functions, glutamate transporter expression and, therefore, the transport rate, are tightly regulated. This review summarizes recent literature on the functional and biophysical properties, structure–function relationships, regulation, physiological significance, and pharmacology of glutamate transporters. Particular emphasis is on the insight from rapid kinetic and electrophysiological studies, transcriptional regulation of transporter expression, and reverse transport and its importance for pathophysiological glutamate release under ischemic conditions.
It has long been established that the absorption of short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) across epithelia stimulates sodium proton exchange. The apically released protons are not available as countercations for the basolateral efflux of SCFA anions and a suitable transport model is lacking. Patch clamp and microelectrode techniques were used to characterize an anion conductance expressed by cultured cells of the sheep and bovine rumen and the sheep omasum and to localize the conductance in the intact tissue. Cells were filled with a Na-gluconate solution and superfused with sodium salts of acetate, propionate, butyrate, or lactate. Reversal potential rose and whole cell current at +100 mV decreased with the size of the anion. Anion-induced currents could be blocked by diisothiocyanato-stilbene-2,2′-disulfonic acid (DIDS), NPPB (200 μmol l−1), or pCMB (1 mmol l−1). In patches of bovine ruminal cells, single channels were observed with a conductance for chloride (327 ± 11 pS), acetate (115 ± 8 pS), propionate (102 ± 10 pS), butyrate (81 ± 2 pS), and gluconate (44 ± 3 pS). Channels expressed by sheep rumen and omasum were similar. Microelectrode experiments suggest basolateral localization. In conclusion, forestomach epithelia express basolateral maxi-anion channels with a permeability sequence of chloride > acetate > propionate > butyrate. SCFA absorption may resemble functionally coupled transport of NaCl, with the Na+/K+-ATPase driving the basolateral efflux of the anion through a channel. Since protons are apically extruded, the model accurately predicts that influx of buffers with saliva is essential for the pH homeostasis of the ruminant forestomach.
Cardiac myosin-binding protein C (cMyBP-C) research has been characterized by two waves. Initial interest was piqued by its discovery in 1973 as a contaminant of myosin preparations from skeletal muscle. The second wave started in 1995 by the discovery that mutations in the gene encoding cMyBP-C cause hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). In this review, we will address what is known of cMyBP-C's role as a regulator of contraction as well as its role in HCM.
A central function of epithelia is the control of the volume and electrolyte composition of bodily fluids through vectorial transport of electrolytes and the obligatory H2O. In exocrine glands, fluid and electrolyte secretion is carried out by both acinar and duct cells, with the portion of fluid secreted by each cell type varying among glands. All acinar cells secrete isotonic, plasma-like fluid, while the duct determines the final electrolyte composition of the fluid by absorbing most of the Cl− and secreting HCO3−. The key transporters mediating acinar fluid and electrolyte secretion are the basolateral Na+/K+ /2Cl− cotransporter, the luminal Ca2+-activated Cl− channel ANO1 and basolateral and luminal Ca2+-activated K+ channels. Ductal fluid and HCO3− secretion are mediated by the basolateral membrane Na+-HCO3− cotransporter NBCe1-B and the luminal membrane Cl−/HCO3− exchanger slc26a6 and the Cl− channel CFTR. The function of the transporters is regulated by multiple inputs, which in the duct include major regulation by the WNK/SPAK pathway that inhibit secretion and the IRBIT/PP1 pathway that antagonize the effects of the WNK/SPAK pathway to both stimulate and coordinate the secretion. The function of these regulatory pathways in secretory glands acinar cells is yet to be examined. An important concept in biology is synergism among signaling pathways to generate the final physiological response that ensures regulation with high fidelity and guards against cell toxicity. While synergism is observed in all epithelial functions, the molecular mechanism mediating the synergism is not known. Recent work reveals a central role for IRBIT as a third messenger that integrates and synergizes the function of the Ca2+ and cAMP signaling pathways in activation of epithelial fluid and electrolyte secretion. These concepts are discussed in this review using secretion by the pancreatic and salivary gland ducts as model systems.
Microgravity induces a redistribution of blood volume. Consequently, astronauts' body pressure is modified so that the upright blood pressure gradient is abolished, thereby inducing a modification in cerebral blood pressure. This effect is mimicked in the hindlimb unloaded rat model. After a duration of 8 days of unloading, Ca2+ signals activated by depolarization and inositol-1,4,5-trisphosphate intracellular release were increased in cerebral arteries. In the presence of ryanodine and thapsigargin, the depolarization-induced Ca2+ signals remained increased in hindlimb suspended animals, indicating that Ca2+ influx and Ca2+-induced Ca2+ release mechanism were both increased. Spontaneous Ca2+ waves and localized Ca2+ events were also investigated. Increases in both amplitude and frequency of spontaneous Ca2+ waves were measured in hindlimb suspension conditions. After pharmacological segregation of Ca2+ sparks and Ca2+ sparklets, their kinetic parameters were characterized. Hindlimb suspension induced an increase in the frequencies of both Ca2+ localized events, suggesting an increase of excitability. Labeling with bodipy compounds suggested that voltage-dependent Ca2+ channels and ryanodine receptor expressions were increased. Finally, the expression of the ryanodine receptor subtype 1 (RyR1) was increased in hindlimb unloading conditions. Taken together, these results suggest that RyR1 expression and voltage-dependent Ca2+ channels activity are the focal points of the regulation of Ca2+ signals activated by vasoconstriction in rat cerebral arteries with an increase of the voltage-dependent Ca2+ influx.
The proximal tubule of mouse kidney expresses mouse organic cation transporter 1 (mOCT1), mOCT2, and much less mOCT3. Therefore, mOCT-mediated transport across the basolateral membrane of proximal tubules reflects properties of at least mOCT1 and mOCT2. Here, we unraveled substrate affinities and modulation of transport activity by acute regulation by protein kinases on mOCT1 and mOCT2 separately and compared these findings with those from isolated proximal tubules of male and female mOCT2−/− mice. These data are also compared to our recent reports on isolated tubules from wild-type and mOCT1/2 double knockout (mOCT1/2−/−) mice. OCT-mediated transport in proximal tubules of mOCT2−/− mice was only 20 % lower compared to those isolated from wild-type mice. While mOCT1 was regulated by all five pathways examined [protein kinase A (PKA), protein kinase C (PKC), p56lck, phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K), and calmodulin (CaM)], mOCT2 activity was modulated by PKA, p56lck, and CaM only, however, in the same direction. As mOCT-mediated transport across the basolateral membrane of mOCT2−/− mice expressing only mOCT1 and to a small amount mOCT3 was identical to that observed for tubules isolated from wild-type mice and to that observed for human embryonic kidney 293 (HEK293) cells stably expressing mOCT1, mOCT1 represents the relevant paralog for OCT-dependent organic cation transport in the mouse kidney. Gender does not play a major role in expression and activity of renal OCT-mediated transport in the mouse. Properties of mouse OCT considerably differ from those of rat or human origin, and thus, observations made in these rodents cannot directly be transferred to the human situation.
Skeletal muscle regulates substrate choice according to demand and availability and pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH) is central in this regulation. Circulating interleukin (IL)-6 increases during exercise and IL-6 has been suggested to increase whole body fat oxidation. Furthermore, IL-6 has been reported to increase AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) phosphorylation and AMPK suggested to regulate PDHa activity. Together, this suggests that IL-6 may be involved in regulating PDH. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of a single injection of IL-6 on PDH regulation in skeletal muscle in fed and fasted mice. Fed and 16–18 h fasted mice were injected with either 3 ng · g−1 recombinant mouse IL-6 or PBS as control. Fasting markedly reduced plasma glucose, muscle glycogen, muscle PDHa activity, as well as increased PDK4 mRNA and protein content in skeletal muscle. IL-6 injection did not affect plasma glucose or muscle glycogen, but increased AMPK and ACC phosphorylation and tended to decrease p38 protein content in skeletal muscle in fasted mice. In addition IL-6 injection reduced PDHa activity in fed mice and increased PDHa activity in fasted mice without significant changes in PDH-E1α phosphorylation or PDP1 and PDK4 mRNA and protein content. The present findings suggest that IL-6 contributes to regulating the PDHa activity and hence carbohydrate oxidation, but the metabolic state of the muscle seems to determine the outcome of this regulation. In addition, AMPK and p38 may contribute to the IL-6-mediated PDH regulation in the fasted state.
Cyclic nucleotides play fundamental roles in the central nervous system (CNS) under both physiological and pathological conditions. The impact of cAMP and cGMP signaling on neuronal and glial cell functions has been thoroughly characterized. Most of their effects have been related to cyclic nucleotide-dependent protein kinase activity. However, cyclic nucleotide-gated (CNG) channels, first described as key mediators of sensory transduction in retinal and olfactory receptors, have been receiving increasing attention as possible targets of cyclic nucleotides in the CNS. In the last 15 years, consistent evidence has emerged for their expression in neurons and astrocytes of the rodent brain. Far less is known, however, about the functional role of CNG channels in these cells, although several of their features, such as Ca2+ permeability and prolonged activation in the presence of cyclic nucleotides, make them ideal candidates for mediators of physiological functions in the CNS. Here, we review literature suggesting the involvement of CNG channels in a number of CNS cellular functions (e.g., regulation of membrane potential, neuronal excitability, and neurotransmitter release) as well as in more complex phenomena, like brain plasticity, adult neurogenesis, and pain sensitivity. The emerging picture is that functional and dysfunctional cyclic nucleotide signaling in the CNS has to be reconsidered including CNG channels among possible targets. However, concerted efforts and multidisciplinary approaches are still needed to get more in-depth knowledge in this field.
The entorhinal cortex (EC) is divided into medial (MEC) and lateral (LEC) anatomical areas, and layer II neurons of these two regions project to granule cells of the dentate gyrus through the medial and lateral perforant pathways (MPP and LPP), respectively. Stellate cells (SCs) represent the main neurons constituting the MPP inputs, while fan cells (FCs) represent the main LPP inputs. Here, we first characterized the excitability properties of SCs and FCs in adult wild-type (WT) mouse brain. Our data indicate that, during sustained depolarization, action potentials (APs) generated by SCs exhibit increased fast afterhyperpolarization and overshoot, making them able to fire at higher frequencies and to exhibit higher spike frequency adaptation (SFA) than FCs. Since the EC is one of the earliest brain regions affected during Alzheimer's disease (AD) progression, we compared SCs and FCs firing in 4-month-old WT and transgenic Tg2576 mice, a well-established AD mouse model. Tg2576-SCs displayed a slight increase in firing frequency during mild depolarization but otherwise normal excitability properties during higher stimulations. On the contrary, Tg2576-FCs exhibited a decreased firing frequency during mild and higher depolarizations, as well as an increased SFA. Our data identify the FCs as a neuronal population particularly sensitive to early pathological effects of chronic accumulation of APP-derived peptides, as it occurs in Tg2576 mice. As FCs represent the major input of sensory information to the hippocampus during memory acquisition, early alterations in their excitability profile could significantly contribute to the onset of cognitive decline in AD.
In the central nervous system, canonical transient receptor potential (TRPC) channels have been implicated in mediating neuronal excitation induced by stimulating metabotropic receptors, including group 1 metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs). Lateral septal (LS) neurons express high levels of TRPC4 and group I mGluRs. However, to what extent native TRPC4-containing channels (TRPC4-cc) are activated as well as the impact of different levels of TRPC4-cc activation on neuronal excitability remain elusive. Here, we report that stimulating LS neurons with group I mGluR agonist, (S)-3,5-DHPG, causes either an immediate increase in firing rate or an initial burst followed by a pause of firing, which can be correlated with below-threshold-depolarization (BTD) or above-threshold-plateau-depolarization (ATPD), respectively, in whole-cell recordings. The early phase of BTD and the entire ATPD are completely absent in neurons from TRPC4−/− mice. Moreover, in the same LS neurons, BTD can be converted to ATPD at more depolarized potentials or with a brief current injection, suggesting that BTD and ATPD may represent partial and full activations of TRPC4-cc, respectively. We show that coincident mGluR stimulation and depolarization is required to evoke strong TRPC4-cc current, and Na+ and Ca2+ influx, together with dynamic changes of intracellular Ca2+, are essential for ATPD induction. Our results suggest that TRPC4-cc integrates metabotropic receptor stimulation with intracellular Ca2+ signals to generate two interconvertible depolarization responses to affect excitability of LS neurons in distinct fashions.
Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) as a novel gasotransmitter regulates variety of processes, including calcium transport systems. Sodium calcium exchanger (NCX) is one of the key players in a regulation calcium homeostasis. Thus, the aims of our work were to determine effect of sulfide signaling on the NCX type 1 (NCX1) expression and function in HeLa cells, to investigate the relationship of β-adrenergic receptors with the NCX1 in the presence and/or absence of H2S, and to determine physiological importance of this potential communication. As a H2S donor, we used morpholin-4-ium-4-methoxyphenyl(morpholino) phosphinodithioate—GYY4137. We observed increased levels of the NCX1 mRNA, protein, and activity after 24 h of GYY4137 treatment. This increase was accompanied by elevated cAMP due to the GYY4137 treatment, which was completely abolished, when NCX1 was silenced. Increased cAMP levels would point to upregulation of β-adrenergic receptors. Indeed, GYY4137 increased expression of β1 and β3 (but not β2) adrenergic receptors. These receptors co-precipitated, co-localized with the NCX1, and induced apoptosis in the presence of H2S. Our results suggest that sulfide signaling plays a role in regulation of the NCX1, β1 and β3 adrenergic receptors, their co-localization, and stimulation of apoptosis, which might be of a potential importance in cancer treatment.
The endogenous lipid agent N-arachidonoylethanolamine (anandamide), among other effects, has been shown to be involved in nociceptive processing both in the central and peripheral nervous systems. Anandamide is thought to be synthesised by several enzymatic pathways both in a Ca2+-sensitive and Ca2+-insensitive manner, and rat primary sensory neurons produce anandamide. Here, we show for the first time, that cultured rat primary sensory neurons express at least four of the five known Ca2+-insensitive enzymes implicated in the synthesis of anandamide, and that application of 1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoethanolamine-N-arachidonoyl, the common substrate of the anandamide-synthesising pathways, results in anandamide production which is not changed by the removal of extracellular Ca2+. We also show that anandamide, which has been synthesised in primary sensory neurons following the application of 1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoethanolamine-N-arachidonoyl induces a transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1 ion channel-mediated excitatory effect that is not inhibited by concomitant activation of the cannabinoid type 1 receptor. Finally, we show that sub-populations of transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1 ion channel-expressing primary sensory neurons also express some of the putative Ca2+-insensitive anandamide-synthesising enzymes. Together, these findings indicate that anandamide synthesised by primary sensory neuron via a Ca2+-insensitive manner has an excitatory rather than an inhibitory role in primary sensory neurons and that excitation is mediated predominantly through autocrine signalling. Regulation of the activity of the Ca2+-insensitive anandamide-synthesising enzymes in these neurons may be capable of regulating the activity of these cells, with potential relevance to controlling nociceptive processing.
Although peripherally released interleukin (IL)-10 has a critical regulatory role in limiting fever in mild-to-moderate forms of inflammation, its role in regulating the more complex thermoregulatory manifestations of hypothermia and fever noted during severe inflammation is less clear. Using cytokine antagonism, we therefore investigated the involvement of peripherally released IL-10 in mediating hypothermia, fever and inflammation induced by intraperitoneal (IP) administration of a large dose of lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Male Wistar rats (200–250 g) were anaesthetized and implanted intra-abdominally with temperature-sensitive radiotelemeters. Rats were randomly assigned to receive IL-10 antiserum (IL-10AS) or normal sheep serum IP, 4 h before receiving an IP injection of LPS (10 mg/kg) or phosphate-buffered saline (PBS). Inflammatory responses were measured in plasma and tissue samples (spleen, liver and brain) at 90 min and 6 h after the IP injection of LPS or PBS. Administration of LPS induced an initial period of hypothermia (~90 min) after which fever developed. Pre-treating rats with IL-10AS abolished the LPS-induced increase in plasma IL-10 levels, attenuated the hypothermia and increased the amplitude of the fever. Moreover, IL-10AS pre-treatment augmented the LPS-induced increase in plasma levels of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (90 min and 6 h), IL-1β (90 min), prostaglandin E2 (90 min) and IL-6 (6 h), in the periphery, but not the hypothalamus, over the duration of hypothermia and fever. Via its action on the synthesis of inflammatory mediators in the spleen and liver, endogenous IL-10 plays a crucial regulatory role in mediating hypothermia and fever during severe aspectic (LPS-induced) systemic inflammation.
The SLC13 family in humans and other mammals consists of sodium-coupled transporters for anionic substrates: three transporters for dicarboxylates/citrate and two transporters for sulfate. This review will focus on the di- and tricarboxylate transporters: NaDC1 (SLC13A2), NaDC3 (SLC13A3), and NaCT (SLC13A5). The substrates of these transporters are metabolic intermediates of the citric acid cycle, including citrate, succinate, and α-ketoglutarate, which can exert signaling effects through specific receptors or can affect metabolic enzymes directly. The SLC13 transporters are important for regulating plasma, urinary and tissue levels of these metabolites. NaDC1, primarily found on the apical membranes of renal proximal tubule and small intestinal cells, is involved in regulating urinary levels of citrate and plays a role in kidney stone development. NaDC3 has a wider tissue distribution and high substrate affinity compared with NaDC1. NaDC3 participates in drug and xenobiotic excretion through interactions with organic anion transporters. NaCT is primarily a citrate transporter located in the liver and brain, and its activity may regulate metabolic processes. The recent crystal structure of the Vibrio cholerae homolog, VcINDY, provides a new framework for understanding the mechanism of transport in this family. This review summarizes current knowledge of the structure, function, and regulation of the di- and tricarboxylate transporters of the SLC13 family.
Myogenic vasoconstriction is an inherent property of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) of resistance arteries harboring ill-defined mechanosensing and mechanotransducing elements. G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are discussed as mechanosensors in VSMCs. In this study, we sought to identify and characterize the role and impact of GPCRs on myogenic vasoconstriction. Thus, we analyzed mRNA expression levels of GPCRs in resistance versus preceding conduit arteries revealing a significant enrichment of several GPCRs in resistance vessels. Selective pharmacological blockade of the highly expressed GPCRs in isolated murine mesenteric arteries ex vivo decreased myogenic vasoconstriction. In particular, candesartan and losartan most prominently suppressed myogenic tone, suggesting that AT1 receptors play a central role in myogenic vasoconstriction. Analyzing angiotensinogen−/− mice, a relevant contribution of locally produced angiotensin II to myogenic tone could be excluded. Investigation of AT1A−/− and AT1B−/− murine mesenteric arteries revealed that AT1B, but not AT1A, receptors are key components of myogenic regulation. This notion was supported by examining fura-2-loaded isolated AT1A−/− and AT1B−/− VSMCs. Our results indicate that in VSMCs, AT1B receptors are more mechanosensitive than AT1A receptors even at comparable receptor expression levels. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the mechanosensitivity of GPCRs is agonist-independent and positively correlates with receptor expression levels.
Enteric sensory neurons (the AH neurons) play a role in control of gastrointestinal motor activity; AH neuron activation has been proposed to change propulsion into segmentation. We sought to find a mechanism underlying this phenomenon. We formulated the hypothesis that AH neurons increase local ICC-MP (interstitial cells of Cajal associated with the myenteric plexus) pacemaker frequency to disrupt peristalsis and promote absorption. To that end, we sought structural and physiological evidence for communication between ICC-MP and AH neurons. We designed experiments that allowed us to simultaneously activate AH neurons and observe changes in ICC calcium transients that underlie its pacemaker activity. Neurobiotin injection in AH neurons together with ICC immunohistochemistry proved the presence of multiple contacts between AH neuron varicosities and the cell bodies and processes of ICC-MP. Generating action potential activity in AH neurons led to increase in the frequency and amplitude of calcium transients underlying pacemaker activity in ICC. When no rhythmicity was seen, rhythmic calcium transients were evoked in ICC. As a control, we stimulated nitrergic S neurons, which led to reduction in ICC calcium transients. Hence, we report here the first demonstration of communication between AH neurons and ICC. The following hypothesis can now be formulated: AH neuron activation can disrupt peristalsis directed by ICC-MP slow wave activity, through initiation of a local pacemaker by increasing ICC pacemaker frequency through increasing the frequency of ICC calcium transients. Evoking new pacemakers distal to the proximal lead pacemaker will initiate both retrograde and antegrade propulsion causing back and forth movements that may disrupt peristalsis.
The electroneutral Na+–K+–Cl− cotransporters NKCC1 (encoded by the SLC12A2 gene) and NKCC2 (SLC12A1 gene) belong to the Na+-dependent subgroup of solute carrier 12 (SLC12) family of transporters. They mediate the electroneutral movement of Na+ and K+, tightly coupled to the movement of Cl− across cell membranes. As they use the energy of the ion gradients generated by the Na+/K+-ATPase to transport Na+, K+, and Cl− from the outside to the inside of a cell, they are considered secondary active transport mechanisms. NKCC-mediated transport occurs in a 1Na+, 1K+, and 2Cl− ratio, although NKCC1 has been shown to sometimes mediate partial reactions. Both transporters are blocked by bumetanide and furosemide, drugs which are commonly used in clinical medicine. NKCC2 is the molecular target of loop diuretics as it is expressed on the apical membrane of thick ascending limb of Henle epithelial cells, where it mediates NaCl reabsorption. NKCC1, in contrast, is found on the basolateral membrane of Cl− secretory epithelial cells, as well as in a variety of non-epithelial cells, where it mediates cell volume regulation and participates in Cl− homeostasis. Following their molecular identification two decades ago, much has been learned about their biophysical properties, their mode of operation, their regulation by kinases and phosphatases, and their physiological relevance. However, despite this tremendous amount of new information, there are still so many gaps in our knowledge. This review summarizes information that constitutes consensus in the field, but it also discusses current points of controversy and highlights many unanswered questions.
Transient receptor potential A1 (TRPA1) is implicated in somatosensory processing and pathological pain sensation. Although not strictly voltage-gated, ionic currents of TRPA1 typically rectify outwardly, indicating channel activation at depolarized membrane potentials. However, some reports also showed TRPA1 inactivation at high positive potentials, implicating voltage-dependent inactivation. Here we report a conserved leucine residue, L906, in the putative pore helix, which strongly impacts the voltage dependency of TRPA1. Mutation of the leucine to cysteine (L906C) converted the channel from outward to inward rectification independent of divalent cations and irrespective to stimulation by allyl isothiocyanate. The mutant, but not the wild-type channel, displayed exclusively voltage-dependent inactivation at positive potentials. The L906C mutation also exhibited reduced sensitivity to inhibition by TRPA1 blockers, HC030031 and ruthenium red. Further mutagenesis of the leucine to all natural amino acids individually revealed that most substitutions at L906 (15/19) resulted in inward rectification, with exceptions of three amino acids that dramatically reduced channel activity and one, methionine, which mimicked the wild-type channel. Our data are plausibly explained by a bimodal gating model involving both voltage-dependent activation and inactivation of TRPA1. We propose that the key pore helix residue, L906, plays an essential role in responding to the voltage-dependent gating.
The SLC10A transporter gene family consists of seven members and substrates transported by three members (SLC10A1, SLC10A2 and SLC10A6) are Na+-dependent. SLC10A1 (sodium taurocholate cotransporting polypeptide [NTCP]) and SLC10A2 (apical sodium-dependent bile salt transporter [ASBT]) transport bile salts and play an important role in maintaining enterohepatic circulation of bile salts. Solutes other than bile salts are also transported by NTCP. However, ASBT has not been shown to be a transporter for non-bile salt substrates. While the transport function of NTCP can potentially be used as liver function test, interpretation of such a test may be complicated by altered expression of NTCP in diseases and presence of drugs that may inhibit NTCP function. Transport of bile salts by NTCP and ASBT is inhibited by a number of drugs and it appears that ASBT is more permissive to drug inhibition than NTCP. The clinical significance of this inhibition in drug disposition and drug–drug interaction remains to be determined. Both NCTP and ASBT undergo post-translational regulations that involve phosphorylation/dephosphorylation, translocation to and retrieval from the plasma membrane and degradation by the ubiquitin–proteasome system. These posttranslational regulations are mediated via signaling pathways involving cAMP, calcium, nitric oxide, phosphoinositide-3-kinase (PI3K), protein kinase C (PKC) and protein phosphatases. There appears to be species difference in the substrate specificity and the regulation of plasma membrane localization of human and rodent NTCP. These differences should be taken into account when extrapolating rodent data for human clinical relevance and developing novel therapies. NTCP has recently been shown to play an important role in HBV and HDV infection by serving as a receptor for entry of these viruses into hepatocytes.
TASK-2 is a K2P K+ channel considered as a candidate to mediate CO2 sensing in central chemosensory neurons in mouse. Neuroepithelial cells in zebrafish gills sense CO2 levels through an unidentified K2P K+ channel. We have now obtained zfTASK-2 from zebrafish gill tissue that is 49 % identical to mTASK-2. Like its mouse equivalent, it is gated both by extra- and intracellular pH being activated by alkalinization and inhibited by acidification. The pHi dependence of zfTASK-2 is similar to that of mTASK-2, with pK 1/2 values of 7.9 and 8.0, respectively, but pHo dependence occurs with a pK 1/2 of 8.8 (8.0 for mTASK-2) in line with the relatively alkaline plasma pH found in fish. Increasing CO2 led to a rapid, concentration-dependent (IC50 ~1.5 % CO2) inhibition of mouse and zfTASK-2 that could be resolved into an inhibition by intracellular acidification and a CO2 effect independent of pHi change. Indeed a CO2 effect persisted despite using strongly buffered intracellular solutions abolishing any change in pHi, was present in TASK-2-K245A mutant insensitive to pHi, and also under carbonic anhydrase inhibition. The mechanism by which TASK-2 senses CO2 is unknown but requires the presence of the 245–273 stretch of amino acids in the C terminus that comprises numerous basic amino acids and is important in TASK-2 G protein subunit binding and regulation of the channel. The described CO2 effect might be of importance in the eventual roles played by TASK-2 in chemoreception in mouse and zebrafish.
The goal of this study was to determine the molecular identity of a small-conductance (~5-pS) background K+ channel expressed in trigeminal ganglion (TG) neurons. We tested the hypothesis that the 5-pS channel is a K2P channel by comparing the pharmacological and single-channel properties of THIK-1 expressed in HEK293 cells. As reported earlier, whole-cell THIK-1 current was inhibited by halothane and activated by arachidonic acid. Among 25 additional modulators tested, bupivacaine (100 μM), quinidine (50 μM) and Ba2+ (3 mM) and cold (10 °C) were most effective inhibitors of THIK-1 current (>50 % inhibition). In cell-attached patches with high KCl in the pipette and bath solutions, THIK-1 produced a small-conductance (~5 pS) channel with a weak inwardly rectifying current–voltage relationship. Halothane, bupivacaine and cold inhibited the single-channel activities of both THIK-1 and the 5-pS channel in TG neurons, whereas arachidonic acid augmented them. THIK-1 expressed in HEK293 cells and the 5-pS channels in TG neurons were insensitive to hypoxia. Reverse transcriptase-PCR, Western blot and immunocytochemical analyses suggested that THIK-1 mRNA and protein were expressed in TG neurons. These results show that THIK-1 is functionally expressed in TG neurons and contributes to the background K+ conductance.
Dysfunction or abnormalities in the regulation of fatty acid translocase Cd36, a multifunctional membrane protein participating in uptake of long-chain fatty acids, has been linked to the development of heart diseases both in animals and humans. We have previously shown that the Cd36 transgenic spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR-Cd36), with a wild type Cd36, has higher susceptibility to ischemic ventricular arrhythmias when compared to spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR) carrying a mutant Cd36 gene, which may have been related to increased β-adrenergic responsiveness of these animals (Neckar et al., 2012 Physiol. Genomics 44:173–182). The present study aimed to determine whether the insertion of the wild type Cd36 into SHR would affect the function of myocardial G protein-regulated adenylyl cyclase (AC) signaling. β-Adrenergic receptors (β-ARs) were characterized by radioligand-binding experiments and the expression of selected G protein subunits, AC, and protein kinase A (PKA) was determined by RT-PCR and Western blot analyses. There was no significant difference in the amount of trimeric G proteins, but the number of β-ARs was higher (by about 35 %) in myocardial preparations from SHR-Cd36 as compared to SHR. Besides that, transgenic rats expressed increased amount (by about 20 %) of the dominant myocardial isoforms AC5/6 and contained higher levels of both nonphosphorylated (by 11 %) and phosphorylated (by 45 %) PKA. Differently stimulated AC activity in SHR-Cd36 significantly exceeded (by about 18–30 %) the enzyme activity in SHR. Changes at the molecular level were reflected by higher contractile responses to stimulation by the adrenergic agonist dobutamine. In summary, it can be concluded that the increased susceptibility to ischemic arrhythmias of SHR-Cd36 is attributable to upregulation of some components of the β-AR signaling pathway, which leads to enhanced sensitization of AC and increased cardiac adrenergic responsiveness.
ClC-2 is a voltage-dependent chloride channel that activates slowly at voltages negative to the chloride reversal potential. Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and other nucleotides have been shown to bind to carboxy-terminal cystathionine-ß-synthase (CBS) domains of ClC-2, but the functional consequences of binding are not sufficiently understood. We here studied the effect of nucleotides on channel gating using single-channel and whole-cell patch clamp recordings on transfected mammalian cells. ATP slowed down macroscopic activation and deactivation time courses in a dose-dependent manner. Removal of the complete carboxy-terminus abolishes the effect of ATP, suggesting that CBS domains are necessary for ATP regulation of ClC-2 gating. Single-channel recordings identified long-lasting closed states of ATP-bound channels as basis of this gating deceleration. ClC-2 channel dimers exhibit two largely independent protopores that are opened and closed individually as well as by a common gating process. A seven-state model of common gating with altered voltage dependencies of opening and closing transitions for ATP-bound states correctly describes the effects of ATP on macroscopic and microscopic ClC-2 currents. To test for a potential pathophysiological impact of ClC-2 regulation by ATP, we studied ClC-2 channels carrying naturally occurring sequence variants found in patients with idiopathic generalized epilepsy, G715E, R577Q, and R653T. All naturally occurring sequence variants accelerate common gating in the presence but not in the absence of ATP. We propose that ClC-2 uses ATP as a co-factor to slow down common gating for sufficient electrical stability of neurons under physiological conditions.
Preciseness of cellular behavior depends upon how an extracellular cue mobilizes a correct orchestra of cellular messengers and effector proteins spatially and temporally. This concept, termed compartmentalization of cellular signaling, is now known to form the molecular basis of many aspects of cellular behavior in health and disease. The cyclic nucleotides cyclic adenosine monophosphate and cyclic guanosine monophosphate are ubiquitous cellular messengers that can be compartmentalized in three ways: first, by their physical containment; second, by formation of multiple protein signaling complexes; and third, by their selective depletion. Compartmentalized cyclic nucleotide signaling is a very prevalent response among all cell types. In order to understand how it becomes relevant to cellular behavior, it is important to know how it is executed in cells to regulate physiological responses and, also, how its execution or dysregulation can lead to a pathophysiological condition, which forms the scope of the presented review.
Stromal interaction molecules (STIM1 and STIM2) are critical components of store-operated calcium entry. Sensing depletion of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) Ca2+ stores, STIM couples with plasma membrane Orai channels, resulting in the influx of Ca2+ across the PM into the cytosol. Although best recognized for their primary role as ER Ca2+ sensors, increasing evidence suggests that STIM proteins have a broader variety of sensory capabilities than first envisaged, reacting to cell stressors such as oxidative stress, temperature, and hypoxia. Further, the array of partners for STIM proteins is now understood to range far beyond the Orai channel family. Here we discuss the implications of STIM’s expanding role, both as a stress sensor and a general modulator of multiple physiological processes in the cell.
Introduction of zebrafish as a model for human diseases with symptomatic hypomagnesemia urges to identify the regulatory transport genes involved in zebrafish Mg2+ physiology. In humans, mutations related to hypomagnesemia are located in the genes TRPM6 and CNNM2, encoding for a Mg2+ channel and transporter, respectively; EGF (epidermal growth factor); SLC12A3, which encodes for the Na+-Cl− co-transporter NCC; KCNA1 and KCNJ10, encoding for the K+ channels Kv1.1 and Kir4.1, respectively; and FXYD2, which encodes for the γ-subunit of the Na+,K+-ATPase. Orthologues of these genes were found in the zebrafish genome. For cnnm2, kcna1 and kcnj10, two conserved paralogues were retrieved. Except for fxyd2, kcna1b and kcnj10 duplicates, transcripts of orthologues were detected in ionoregulatory organs such as the gills, kidney and gut. Gene expression analyses in zebrafish acclimated to a Mg2+-deficient (0 mM Mg2+) or a Mg2+-enriched (2 mM Mg2+) water showed that branchial trpm6, gut cnnm2b and renal slc12a3 responded to ambient Mg2+. When changing the Mg2+ composition of the diet (the main source for Mg2+ in fish) to a Mg2+-deficient (0.01 % (w/w) Mg) or a Mg2+-enriched diet (0.7 % (w/w) Mg), mRNA expression of branchial trpm6, gut trpm6 and cnnm2 duplicates, and renal trpm6, egf, cnnm2a and slc12a3 was the highest in fish fed the Mg2+-deficient diet. The gene regulation patterns were in line with compensatory mechanisms to cope with Mg2+-deficiency or surplus. Our findings suggest that trpm6, egf, cnnm2 paralogues and slc12a3 are involved in the in vivo regulation of Mg2+ transport in ionoregulatory organs of the zebrafish model.
Transient receptor potential (TRP) channels are not well understood in human atrium, and the present study was therefore designed to investigate whether TRPC channels would mediate the nonselective cation current reported previously and are involved in the formation of store-operated Ca2+ entry (SOCE) channels in human atrial myocytes using approaches of whole-cell patch voltage-clamp, RT-PCR, Western blotting, co-immunoprecipitation, and confocal scanning approaches, etc. We found that a nonselective cation current was recorded under K+-free conditions in human atrial myocytes, and the current was inhibited by the TRP channel blocker La3+. Thapsigargin enhanced the current, and its effect was suppressed by La3+ and prevented by pipette inclusion of anti-TRPC1 antibody. Endothlin-1 and angiotensin II enhanced the current that could be inhibited by La3+. Gene and protein expression of TRPC1 channels were abundant in human atria. In addition, mRNA and protein of STIM1 and Orai1, components of SOCE channels, were abundantly expressed in human atria. Co-immunoprecipitation analysis demonstrated an interaction of TRPC1 with STIM1 and/or Orai1. Ca2+ signaling mediated by SOCE channels was detected by a confocal microscopy technique. These results demonstrate the novel evidence that TRPC1 channels not only mediate the nonselective cation current, but also form SOCE channels in human atria as a component. TRPC1 channels can be activated by endothelin-1 or angiotensin II, which may be involved in the atrial electrical remodeling in patients with atrial fibrillation.
Myocardial matrix turnover involves a dynamic balance between collagen synthesis and degradation, which is regulated by matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). N-acetyl-Ser-Asp-Lys-Pro (Ac-SDKP) is a small peptide that inhibits cardiac inflammation and fibrosis. However, its role in MMP regulation is not known. Thus, we hypothesized that Ac-SDKP promotes MMP activation in cardiac fibroblasts and decreases collagen deposition via this mechanism. To that end, we tested the effects of Ac-SDKP on interleukin-1β (IL-1β; 5 ng/ml)-stimulated adult rat cardiac fibroblasts. We measured total collagenase activity, MMP-2, MMP-9, and MMP-13 expressions, and activity along with their inhibitors, tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase (TIMP)-1 and TIMP-2. In order to examine the effects of Ac-SDKP on the signaling pathway that controls MMP transcription, we also measured nuclear factor-κB (NFκB) and p42/44 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) activation. Ac-SDKP did not alter collagenase or gelatinase activity in cardiac fibroblasts under basal conditions, but blunted the IL-1β-induced increase in total collagenase activity. Similarly, Ac-SDKP normalized the IL-1β-mediated increase in MMP-2 and MMP-9 activities and MMP-13 expression. Inhibition of MMPs by Ac-SDKP was associated with increased TIMP-1 and TIMP-2 expressions. Collagen production was not affected by Ac-SDKP, IL-1β, or a combination of both agents. Ac-SDKP blocked IL-1β-induced p42/44 phosphorylation and NFκB activation in cardiac fibroblasts. We concluded that the Ac-SDKP-inhibited collagenase expression and activation was associated with increased expression of TIMP-1 and TIMP-2. These pharmacological effects of Ac-SDKP may be linked to the inhibition of MAPK and NFκB pathway.
The calcineurin inhibitor cyclosporine A (CsA) improves survival in endotoxemic mice. It was hypothesized that CsA counteracts the bradycardia and hypotension characteristic of endotoxemia. Vascular reactivity was determined in lipopolysaccharide (LPS; 50 μg/mL)-treated mouse aortic rings suspended in a myograph. Arterial blood pressure and heart rate were measured continuously with indwelling catheters in conscious mice treated with CsA and a bolus injection of LPS (2 mg/kg). The α1-adrenoceptor agonist phenylephrine induced stable tension of aortic rings that were attenuated significantly by LPS. Co-incubation of rings with LPS and CsA (1 × 10−7 mol/L–1 × 10−5 mol/L) restored vascular reactivity to phenylephrine. Intravenous administration of CsA (20 and 40 mg/kg/day) to mice induced a significant increase (by approximately 10 mmHg) in mean arterial blood pressure (MAP), with no effect on heart rate. An LPS bolus led to significant decreases in MAP (by approximately 30 mmHg) and heart rate (to 50 % of baseline). CsA-treated LPS-mice exhibited higher MAP at some (20 mg/kg) or all (40 mg/kg) time points after LPS. The decrease in MAP (Δ pressure) was similar between vehicle- and CsA-treated groups. The 50 % decrease in heart rate was not affected by CsA. Inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) mRNA and protein levels in LPS-treated mice organs and plasma NOx concentration were significantly reduced by CsA. It is concluded that in a murine model of endotoxemia, increased peripheral vascular resistance and suppression of systemic NO formation by cyclosporine A are not sufficient to prevent cardiovascular collapse, which is caused primarily by compromised cardiac function.
Gliding of red blood cells (RBC) through blood vessels is mediated by the negatively charged glycocalyx located on the surfaces of both RBC and endothelial cells (EC). In various vasculopathies, EC gradually lose this protective surface layer. As a consequence, RBC come into close physical contact with the vascular endothelium. It is hypothesized that the RBC glycocalyx could be adversely affected by a poor EC glycocalyx. This hypothesis was tested by evaluating the RBC and EC surface layers with atomic force microscopy techniques. In the first series of experiments, EC monolayers grown in culture were exposed to rhythmic drag forces exerted from a blood overlay (drag force treatment), and thereafter, the EC surface was investigated in terms of thickness and adhesiveness. In the second series, the glycocalyx of the EC monolayers was disturbed by enzymatic cleavage of negatively charged heparan sulfates before drag force treatment, and thereafter, the RBC surface was evaluated. In the third series, the RBC glycocalyx of the blood overlay was enzymatically disturbed before drag force treatment, and thereafter, the EC surface was evaluated. A strong positive correlation between the RBC and EC surface properties was found (r 2 = 0.95). An enzymatically affected EC glycocalyx lead to the shedding of the RBC glycocalyx and vice versa. It is concluded that there is physical interaction between the blood and endothelium. Apparently, the RBC glycocalyx reflects properties of the EC glycocalyx. This observation could have a significant impact on diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular diseases.
There is clear evidence that insulin and insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) are crucial for the normal metabolism and development of Sertoli cells. However, the mechanisms of insulin regulatory signaling remain unknown in these cells, especially during the immature period. The aim of this study was to investigate the electrophysiological effects of insulin and the effects of insulin and IGF-I on calcium uptake, amino acid, and glucose transport in whole seminiferous tubules from 12-day-old rats, as well as the involvement of PI3K/Akt signaling pathway in these effects. Insulin produces a depolarizing effect on the membrane potential of Sertoli cells in seminiferous tubules within 180 s. This effect was nullified by verapamil, an L-type voltage-dependent calcium channel blocker, therefore demonstrating a calcium-dependent depolarizing effect. Both insulin and IGF-I stimulate calcium uptake, amino acid, and glucose transport in whole testes from 12-day-old rats. These stimulatory effects of insulin and IGF-I on calcium uptake and amino acid and glucose transport on testicular tissue were nullified by wortmannin, which demonstrates the involvement of the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway in these hormonal effects.
Sodium buffer capacity of vascular endothelium depends on an endothelial glycocalyx rich in negatively charged heparan sulfate. It has been shown recently that after the mechanical interaction of blood with heparan sulfate-depleted endothelium, erythrocytes also lose this glycocalyx constituent. This observation led to the conclusion that the vascular sodium buffer capacity of an individual could be derived from a blood sample. A test system (salt blood test (SBT)) was developed based upon the sodium-dependent erythrocyte zeta potential. Erythrocyte sedimentation velocity was measured in isosmotic, biopolymer-supplemented electrolyte solutions of different sodium concentrations. Erythrocyte sodium sensitivity (ESS), inversely related to erythrocyte sodium buffer capacity, was expressed as the ratio of the erythrocyte sedimentation velocities of 150 mM over 125 mM Na+ solutions (ESS = Na+150/Na+125). In 61 healthy individuals (mean age, 23 ± 0.5 years), ESS ranged between 2 and 8. The mean value was 4.3 ± 0.19. The frequency distribution shows two peaks, one at about 3 and another one at about 5. To test whether ESS reflects changes of the endothelial glycocalyx, a cultured endothelial monolayer was exposed for 3 hours to a rhythmically moving blood layer (drag force experiment). When applying this procedure, we found that ESS was reduced by about 21 % when the endothelium was pretreated for 4 days with the glycocalyx protective agent WS 1442. In conclusion, the SBT could possibly serve as an in vitro test system for the evaluation of erythrocyte/vascular salt sensitivity allowing follow-up measurements in the prevention and treatment of vascular dysfunctions.
Homozygous mutations in the electrogenic Na+–HCO3− cotransporter NBCe1 cause proximal renal tubular acidosis (pRTA) associated with extrarenal manifestations such as ocular abnormalities and migraine. Previously, the NBCe1 cytosolic mutant S982NfsX4 was shown to have a dominant negative effect by forming hetero-oligomer complexes with wild type (WT), which might be responsible for the occurrence of glaucoma and migraine in the heterozygous family members. In this study, we investigated whether the NBCe1 L522P mutant has a similar dominant negative effect. Functional analyses in Xenopus oocytes and HEK293 cells revealed that the L522P mutant had no transport activity due to defective membrane expression. Furthermore, when coexpressed with WT, L522P significantly reduced the transport activity of WT. In HEK293 cells, the cytosolic mutant L522P reduced the membrane expression of NBCe1 by forming hetero-oligomer complexes with WT. Among the artificial Leu522 mutants, L522I showed proper membrane expression and normal transport activity. However, the other mutants L522R, L522K, L522D, and L522E showed a predominant cytosolic retention. Moreover, L522R had a dominant negative effect, when coexpressed with WT. These results indicate that Leu522 plays an important role in the structure and trafficking of NBCe1. They also suggest that the NBCe1 mutants retaining in cytoplasm may have the dominant negative effect in common, which may induce some clinical manifestations.
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is characterized by hepatic lipid deposition and coincides often with cardiometabolic diseases. Several dietary factors attenuate NAFLD. Here, we report beneficial effects of chronic dietary capsaicin intake on NAFLD which is mediated by the transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) activation. The results showed that TRPV1 activation by capsaicin reduced free fatty acids (FFAs) induced the intracellular lipid droplets in HepG2 cells and prevented fatty liver in vivo. Chronic dietary capsaicin promoted lipolysis by increasing hepatic phosphorylated hormone-sensitive lipase (phospho-HSL), carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1 (CPT1), and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor δ (PPARδ) in wild-type (WT) mice. This effect was absent in TRPV1−/− mice. Dietary capsaicin did not affect lipogenesis, as indicated by the detection of hepatic fatty acid synthase (FAS), sterol regulatory element-binding protein-1 (SREBP-1), PPARα, and liver X receptor (LXR) in mice. Importantly, TRPV1 causes PPARδ activation which significantly increased the expression of autophagy-related proteins, such as light chain 3 (LC3)II, Beclin1, Atg5, and Atg7 in HepG2 cells. In the in vivo study, TRPV1 activation by dietary capsaicin enhanced hepatic PPARδ and autophagy-related proteins and reduced hepatic enzymes and inflammatory factor in WT but not TRPV1−/− mice. TRPV1 activation by dietary capsaicin prevents NAFLD through PPARδ-dependent autophagy enhancement in mice. Dietary capsaicin may represent a beneficial intervention in populations at high risk for NAFLD.
The parafascicular nucleus (Pf) is an ascending target of the pedunculopontine nucleus (PPN) and is part of the “non-specific” intralaminar thalamus. The PPN, part of the reticular activating system, is mainly involved in waking and rapid eye movement sleep. Gamma oscillations are evident in all Pf neurons and mediated by high threshold voltage-dependent N- and P/Q-type calcium channels. We tested the hypothesis that high-speed calcium imaging would reveal calcium-mediated oscillations in synchrony with patch clamp recorded oscillations during depolarizing current ramps. Patch-clamped 9 to 19-day-old rat Pf neurons (n = 148, dye filled n = 61, control n = 87) were filled with Fura 2, Bis Fura, or Oregon Green BAPTA-1. Calcium transients were generated during depolarizing current ramps and visualized with a high-speed, wide-field fluorescence imaging system. Cells manifested calcium transients with oscillations in both somatic and proximal dendrite fluorescence recordings. Fluorescent calcium transients were blocked with the nonspecific calcium channel blocker, cadmium, or the combination of ω-Agatoxin-IVA (AgA), a specific P/Q-type calcium channel blocker and ω-conotoxin-GVIA (CgTx), a specific N-type calcium channel blocker. We developed a viable methodology for studying high-speed oscillations without the use of multi-photon imaging systems.
Endothelial cell (EC) dysfunction and atherosclerotic plaque formation coincide with human circulatory regions where blood flow is altered (disturbed). In areas of undisturbed uniform blood flow, including the majority of the vasculature, the vessel wall is relatively atherosclerotic lesion-resistant with normal endothelium. The molecular mechanisms of blood flow regulation of EC function and atherogenesis are unclear. We hypothesize that EC dysfunction potentiating atherosclerosis is related to disturbed flow (DF)-induced EC gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) changes via the gap junction connexin (Cx) 37, 40, and 43 proteins, which are involved in EC proliferation and vasoactivity that are known to be altered in atherosclerosis. We investigated human EC GJIC using an in vitro model of the hemodynamic features found in atherosclerotic-prone DF regions in vivo. Using dye transfer assays, Cx-specific mimetic peptide inhibitors, proliferation assays, and immunocytochemistry, we correlated functional GJIC via gap junction channels formed by hemichannels composed of the two most abundant endothelial Cx—Cx40 and Cx43—to EC proliferation and expression of vasoactive endothelial-type nitric oxide synthase (eNOS). We found that, in uniform flow conditions, substantial GJIC was conducted through gap junctions containing Cx40 hemichannels and correlated to a nonproliferative EC phenotype and membrane localization of eNOS, similar to physiological conditions. In DF, GJIC was largely attained through Cx43 hemichannel-containing gap junctions, EC phenotype was proliferative (attributed to loss of contact inhibition), and intracellular eNOS was more abundant than membrane eNOS, typical of atherosclerotic sites in vivo. This is the first in vitro study to demonstrate local hemodynamically defined Cx protein specificity in human EC GJIC with a potential role in endothelial dysfunction characteristic of early atherosclerosis.
Skin keratinocytes fulfil important signalling and protective functions. Immunocytochemical experiments revealed the unexpected presence of immunoreactivity for the M-type potassium channel subunit Kv7.2 in the keratinocyte layer of intact rat paw skin and in keratinocytes isolated from the skin of 1-day-old rats and cultured in vitro for 3–10 days. Application of the M-channel enhancer retigabine (3–10 μM) to isolated cultured rat keratinocytes: (a) increased outward membrane currents recorded under voltage clamp, (b) produced ~3 mV hyperpolarization at rest, (c) enhanced ~3-fold the release of ATP induced by the TRPV3 agonist carvacrol (1 mM) and (d) increased the amplitude of the carvacrol-induced intracellular Ca2+ transient measured with Fura-2. The effect of retigabine on ATP release was prevented by the M-channel blocking agent XE991. We conclude that rat skin keratinocytes possess M-channels that, when activated, can modify their physiological properties, with potential significance for their sensory and other biological functions.
The growth of neuritic processes in developing neurons is tightly controlled by a wide set of extracellular cues that act by initiating downstream signaling cascades, where calcium signals play a major role. Here we analyze the calcium dependence of the neurite growth promoted by basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF or FGF-2) in chick embryonic ciliary ganglion neurons, taking advantage of dissociated, organotypic, and compartmentalized cultures. We report that signals at both the growth cone and the soma are involved in the promotion of neurite growth by the factor. Blocking calcium influx through L- and N-type voltage-dependent calcium channels and transient receptor potential canonical (TRPC) channels reduces, while release from intracellular stores does not significantly affect, the growth of neuritic processes. Simultaneous recordings of calcium signals elicited by FGF-2 at the soma and at the growth cone show that the factor activates different patterns of responses in the two compartments: steady and sustained responses at the former, oscillations at the latter. At the soma, both voltage-dependent channel and TRPC blockers strongly affect steady-state levels. At the growth cone, the changes in the oscillatory pattern are more complex; therefore, we used a tool based on wavelet analysis to obtain a quantitative evaluation of the effects of the two classes of blockers. We report that the oscillatory behavior at the growth cone is dramatically affected by all the blockers, pointing to a role for calcium influx through the two classes of channels in the generation of signals at the leading edge of the elongating neurites.
Zebrafish (Danio rerio) possesses several advantages as an experimental organism, including the applicability of molecular tools, ease of in vivo cellular observation and functional analysis, and rapid embryonic development, making it an emerging model for the study of integrative and regulatory physiology and, in particular, the epithelial transport associated with body fluid ionic homeostasis. Zebrafish inhabits a hypotonic freshwater environment, and as such, the gills (or the skin, during embryonic stages) assume the role of the kidney in body fluid ionic homeostasis. Four types of ionocyte expressing distinct sets of transporters have been identified in these organs: H+-ATPase-rich, Na+-K+-ATPase-rich, Na+-Cl− cotransporter-expressing and K+-secreting cells; these ionocytes perform transepithelial H+ secretion/Na+ uptake/NH4+ excretion, Ca2+ uptake, Na+/Cl− uptake, and K+ secretion, respectively. Zebrafish ionocytes are analogous to various renal tubular cells, in terms of ion transporter expression and function. During embryonic development, ionocyte progenitors develop from epidermal stem cells and then differentiate into different types of ionocyte through a positive regulatory loop of Foxi3a/-3b and other transcription factors. Several hormones, including cortisol, vitamin D, stanniocalcin-1, calcitonin, and isotocin, were found to participate in the control pathways of ionic homeostasis by precisely studying the target ion transport pathways, ion transporters, or ionocytes of the hormonal actions. In conclusion, the zebrafish model not only enhances our understanding of body fluid ion homeostasis and hormonal control in fish but also informs studies on mammals and other animal species, thereby providing new insights into related fields.
The SLC34 family of Na+-dependent inorganic phosphate cotransporters comprises two electrogenic isoforms (NaPi-IIa, NaPi-IIb) and an electroneutral isoform (NaPi-IIc). Both fulfill essential physiological roles in mammalian phosphate homeostasis. By substitution of three conserved amino acids, found in all electrogenic isoforms, at corresponding sites in NaPi-IIc, electrogenicity was re-established and the Na+/P i stoichiometry increased from 2:1 to 3:1. However, this engineered electrogenic construct (AAD-IIc) had a reduced apparent P i affinity and different presteady-state kinetics from the wild-type NaPi-IIa/b. We investigated AAD-IIc using electrophysiology and voltage clamp fluorometry to elucidate the compromised behavior. The activation energy for cotransport was threefold higher than for NaPi-IIc and 1.5-fold higher than for NaPi-IIa and the temperature dependence of presteady-state charge displacements suggested that the large activation energy was associated with the empty carrier reorientation. AAD-IIc shows a weak interaction of external Na+ ions with the electric field, and thus retains the electroneutral cooperative interaction of two Na+ ions preceding external P i binding of NaPi-IIc. Most of the presteady-state charge movement was accounted for by the empty carrier (in the absence of external P i ), and the cytosolic release of one Na+ ion (in the presence of P i ). Simulations using a kinetic model recapitulated the presteady-state and steady-state behavior and allowed identification of two critical partial reactions: the final release of Na+ to the cytosol and external P i binding. Fluorometric recordings from AAD-IIc mutants with Cys substituted at functionally important sites established that AAD-IIc undergoes substrate- and voltage-dependent conformational changes that correlated qualitatively with its presteady-state kinetics.
The Ca2+ sensor stromal interacting molecule 1 (STIM1) and the Ca2+ channel Orai1 mediate the ubiquitous store-operated Ca2+ entry (SOCE) pathway activated by depletion of internal Ca2+ stores and mediated through the highly Ca2+-selective, Ca2+ release-activated Ca2+ (CRAC) current. Furthermore, STIM1 and Orai1, along with Orai3, encode store-independent Ca2+ currents regulated by either arachidonate or its metabolite, leukotriene C4. Orai channels are emerging as important contributors to numerous cell functions, including proliferation, migration, differentiation, and apoptosis. Recent studies suggest critical involvement of STIM/Orai proteins in controlling the development of several cancers, including malignancies of the breast, prostate, and cervix. Here, we quantitatively compared the magnitude of SOCE and the expression levels of STIM1 and Orai1 in non-malignant human primary astrocytes (HPA) and in primary human cell lines established from surgical samples of the brain tumor glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). Using Ca2+ imaging, patch-clamp electrophysiology, pharmacological reagents, and gene silencing, we established that in GBM cells, SOCE and CRAC are mediated by STIM1 and Orai1. We further found that GBM cells show upregulation of SOCE and increased Orai1 levels compared to HPA. The functional significance of SOCE was evaluated by studying the effects of STIM1 and Orai1 knockdown on cell proliferation and invasion. Utilizing Matrigel assays, we demonstrated that in GBM, but not in HPA, downregulation of STIM1 and Orai1 caused a dramatic decrease in cell invasion. In contrast, the effects of STIM1 and Orai1 knockdown on GBM cell proliferation were marginal. Overall, these results demonstrate that STIM1 and Orai1 encode SOCE and CRAC currents and control invasion of GBM cells. Our work further supports the potential use of channels contributed by Orai isoforms as therapeutic targets in cancer.
The melastatin (M) transient receptor potential (TRP) channel TRPM4 is selective for monovalent cations and is activated by high levels of intracellular Ca2+. TRPM4 is broadly distributed and may be involved in numerous functions, including electrical conduction in the heart, respiratory rhythm, immune response, and secretion of insulin by pancreatic β-cells. The significance of TRPM4 in smooth muscle cell function is reviewed here. Several studies indicate that TRPM4 channels are critically important for pressure-induced cerebral arterial myocyte depolarization and myogenic vasoconstriction as well as autoregulation of cerebral blood flow. Regulation of TRPM4 activity in arterial smooth muscle cells is complex and involves release of Ca2+ from the sarcoplasmic reticulum through inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptors and translocation of TRPM4 channels to the plasma membrane in response to protein kinase Cδ. TRPM4 is also present in colonic, urinary bladder, aortic, interlobar pulmonary and renal artery, airway, and corpus cavernosum smooth muscle cells, but its significance and regulation in these tissues is less well characterized.
Establishment of the immunological synapse (IS) between T lymphocytes and antigen-presenting cells is a key step in the adaptive immune response. Several proteins accumulate in the IS, such as the Kv1.3 potassium channel; however, the mechanism of this translocation is unknown. PSD-95 and SAP97 are adaptor proteins that regulate the polarized cell surface expression and localization of Kv1 channels in neurons. We investigated whether these proteins affect the redistribution of Kv1.3 into the IS in non-excitable human T cells. We show here that PSD-95 and SAP97 are expressed in Jurkat and interact with the C terminus of Kv1.3. Disruption of the interaction between PSD-95 or SAP97 and Kv1.3 in Jurkat was realized by the expression of a C-terminal truncated Kv1.3, which lacks the binding domain for these proteins, or by the knockdown of the expression of PSD-95 or SAP97 using specific shRNA. Expression of the truncated Kv1.3 or knockdown of PSD-95, but not the knockdown of SAP97, inhibited the recruitment of Kv1.3 into the IS; the fraction of cells showing polarized Kv1.3 expression upon engagement in an IS was significantly lower than in control cells expressing the full-length Kv1.3, and the rearrangement of Kv1.3 did not show time dependence. In contrast, Jurkat cells expressing the full-length channel showed marked time dependence in the recruitment into the IS peaking at 1 min after the conjugation of the cells. These results demonstrate that PSD-95 participates in the targeting of Kv1.3 into the IS, implying its important role in human T-cell activation.
The striated muscle activator of Rho signaling (STARS) protein and members of its downstream signaling pathway, including myocardin-related transcription factor-A (MRTF-A) and SRF, are increased in response to prolonged resistance exercise training but also following a single bout of endurance cycling. The aim of the present study was to measure and compare the regulation of STARS, MRTF-A and SRF mRNA and protein following 10 weeks of endurance training (ET) versus resistance training (RT), as well as before and following a single bout of endurance (EE) versus resistance exercise (RE). Following prolonged training, STARS, MRTF-A and SRF mRNA levels were all increased by similar magnitude, irrespective of training type. In the training-habituated state, STARS mRNA increased following a single-bout RE when measured 2.5 and 5 h post-exercise and had returned to resting level by 22 h following exercise. MRTF-A and SRF mRNA levels were decreased by 2.5, 5, and 22 h following a single bout of RE and EE exercise when compared to their respective basal levels, with no significant difference seen between the groups at any of the time points. No changes in protein levels were observed following the two modes of exercise training or a single bout of exercise. This study demonstrates that the stress signals elicited by ET and RT result in a comparable regulation of members of the STARS pathway. In contrast, a single bout of EE and RE, performed in the trained state, elicit different responses. These observations suggest that in the trained state, the acute regulation of the STARS pathway following EE or RE may be responsible for exercise-specific muscle adaptations.
The organic cation transporter 3 (OCT3) is a widely expressed transporter for endogenous and exogenous organic cations. Of particular interest is OCT3 expression and function in the brain, where it plays a role in serotonin clearance and influences mood and behavior. Protein kinase signaling mediates rapid modulation of cerebral processes, but little is known about acute regulation of OCT3 by protein kinases. Therefore, we cloned mouse OCT3 (mOCT3) and generated a human embryonic kidney cell line stably expressing the transporter to study transport characteristics, acute regulation by protein kinases, and interaction with psychotropic drugs. Uptake measurement was performed using the fluorescent cation 4-(4-(dimethylamino)styryl)-N-methylpyridinium iodide (ASP+, 1 μM) as a substrate. The translational value of these findings was determined by comparing results obtained with cloned mouse and human OCT3. mOCT3-mediated transport is membrane potential dependent and pH independent. ASP+ uptake by mOCT3 and human OCT3 (hOCT3) was efficiently inhibited by 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium, tetrapentylammonium (TPA+), corticosterone, serotonin, and histamine and by the drugs ketamine, fluoxetine, and diazepam. The half maximal inhibitory concentrations of mOCT3 and hOCT3 for TPA+, serotonin, diazepam, and ketamine are significantly different. Diazepam is a non-transported inhibitor. Furthermore, the activities of mOCT3 and hOCT3 are acutely regulated by the p56lck tyrosine kinase by decreasing their V max. Studies with freshly isolated renal proximal tubules from mOCT1/2−/− mice, in which mOCT3 is the only OCT present, confirmed this regulation pathway. Only the activity of hOCT3 is regulated by calmodulin. These findings suggest that even though many transport properties of mOCT3 and hOCT3 are similar, there are also species-specific aspects of OCT3 function.
The effects of the general antioxidant N-acetylcysteine (NAC) on muscle function and metabolism were examined. Isolated paired mouse extensor digitorum longus muscles were studied in the absence or presence of 20 mM NAC. Muscles were electrically stimulated to perform 100 isometric tetanic contractions (300 ms duration) at frequencies resulting in ∼85 % of maximal force (70–150 Hz at 25–40 °C). NAC did not significantly affect peak force in the unfatigued state at any temperature but significantly slowed tetanic force development in a temperature-dependent fashion (e.g., time to 50 % of peak tension averaged 35 ± 2 ms [control] and 37 ± 1 ms [NAC] at 25 °C vs. 21 ± 1 ms [control] and 52 ± 6 ms [NAC, P < 0.01] at 40 °C). During repeated contractions, NAC maximally enhanced peak force by the fifth tetanus at all temperatures (by ∼30 %). Thereafter, the effect of NAC disappeared rapidly at high temperatures (35–40 °C) and more slowly at the lower temperatures (25–30 °C). At all temperatures, the enhancing effect of NAC on peak force was associated with a slowing of relaxation. NAC did not significantly affect myosin light chain phosphorylation at rest or after five contractions (∼50 % increase vs. rest). After five tetani, lactate and inorganic phosphate increased about 20-fold and 2-fold, respectively, both in control and NAC-treated muscles. Interestingly, after five tetani, the increase in glucose 6-P was ∼2-fold greater, whereas the increase in malate was inhibited by ∼75 % with NAC vs. control, illustrating the metabolic effects of NAC. NAC slightly decreased the maximum shortening velocity in early fatigue (five to seven repeated tetani). These data demonstrate that the antioxidant NAC transiently enhances muscle force generation by a mechanism that is independent of changes in myosin light chain phosphorylation and inorganic phosphate. The slowing of relaxation suggests that NAC enhances isometric force by facilitating fusion (i.e., delaying force decline between pulses). The initial slowing of tension development and subsequent slowing of relaxation suggest that NAC would result in impaired performance during a high-intensity dynamic exercise.
Human ether-á-go-go-related gene (hERG) K+ channel current (I hERG ) is inhibited by various compounds and genetic mutations, potentially resulting in cardiac arrhythmia. Here, we investigated effects of caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE) and curcumin, two natural anti-inflammatory polyphenols, on I hERG in HEK-293 cells overexpressed with hERG. CAPE dose-dependently decreased repolarization tail current of hERG (I hERG,tail; IC50, 10.6 ± 0.5 μM). CAPE also shifted half-activation voltage (V 1/2) to the left (from −17.5 to −26.5 mV) and accelerated activation and inactivation kinetics. The CAPE inhibition of I hERG,tail was not attenuated in the pore-blocker site mutants of hERG (Y652A and F656A). A point mutation of Cys723 (C723S) mimicked the effects of CAPE and caused a left shift of V 1/2 and acceleration of I hERG,tail deactivation. However, I hERG,tail inhibition by CAPE was still observed in C723S. Taken together, CAPE inhibits hERG channel by class 3 mechanism, i.e., modification of gating, not by blocking the pore. Curcumin induced changes of I hERG similar to those of CAPE, while additional interaction with pore-blocking sites was suggested from attenuated I hERG,tail inhibition in Y652A and F656A. Interestingly, I hERG induced by human action potential voltage clamp was increased by CAPE while decreased by curcumin. Mathematical simulation of action potential derived from the experimental results of CAPE and curcumin supports that CAPE, but not curcumin, would induce shortening of AP duration by facilitation of I hERG . The above results revealed intriguing roles of Cys723 in hERG kinetics and suggested that conventional drug screening by using step pulse protocol for I hERG,tail would overlook the hERG kinetic modulations that could compensate the decrease of I hERG,tail.
Because channels of intracellular organelles are not directly accessible to the patch-clamp technique, the activity (open probability) of intracellular ion channels in intact cells has so far eluded direct examination. Here, we present strong evidence that the ratio F380/F440 of the quercetin-specific cellular fluorescence emitted at 540 nm upon excitation at 380/440 nm reflects the open probability of an endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ release channel, the ryanodine receptor (RyR), in both intact and permeabilized Jurkat cells. The time course of the Ca2+ release signal induced by high levels of quercetin in intact cells and that of F380/F440 were strongly correlated. The RyR specific inhibitor, ryanodine, the RyR type 3 and 1 but not type 2 specific inhibitor, dantrolene, as well as the non-specific RyR inhibitor, ruthenium red, depressed consistently the quercetin-induced Ca2+ transient. Confocal microscopy confirmed that the dual fluorescent signal emitted by quercetin colocalizes with the endoplasmic reticulum, not the mitochondria. A novel regulatory mechanism was identified whereby RyR activity under physiological conditions is partially suppressed (hindered channel), whereas the channel becomes nearly fully activated after exposure to millimolar concentrations of bulk cytosolic Ca2+ and subsequent chelation of Ca2+ (rectified channel). Upon rectification, the dependence of F380/F440 on the cytosolic Ca2+ concentration was remarkably similar to that of the open probability of the RyR type 3, not 1 or 2, reported from bilayer experiments. So, quercetin appears to be a semi-specific fluorescent probe for the activity of ryanodine receptors, which in our Jurkat (clone E6.1) cell preparations probably reports the type 3 RyR activity.
Sarcoplasmic/endoplasmic reticulum (SR) and nuclear membranes contain two related cation channels named TRIC-A and TRIC-B. In many tissues, both subtypes are co-expressed, making it impossible to distinguish the distinct single-channel properties of each subtype. We therefore incorporated skeletal muscle SR vesicles derived from Tric-a-knockout mice into bilayers in order to characterise the biophysical properties of native TRIC-B without possible misclassification of the channels as TRIC-A, and without potential distortion of functional properties by detergent purification protocols. The native TRIC-B channels were ideally selective for cations. In symmetrical 210 mM K+, the maximum (full) open channel level (199 pS) was equivalent to that observed when wild-type SR vesicles were incorporated into bilayers. Analysis of TRIC-B gating revealed complex and variable behaviour. Four main sub-conductance levels were observed at approximately 80 % (161 pS), 60 % (123 pS), 46 % (93 pS), and 30 % (60 pS) of the full open state. Seventy-five percent of the channels were voltage sensitive with Po being markedly reduced at negative holding potentials. The frequent, rapid transitions between TRIC-B sub-conductance states prevented development of reliable gating models using conventional single-channel analysis. Instead, we used mean-variance plots to highlight key features of TRIC-B gating in a more accurate and visually useful manner. Our study provides the first biophysical characterisation of native TRIC-B channels and indicates that this channel would be suited to provide counter current in response to Ca2+ release from the SR. Further experiments are required to distinguish the distinct functional properties of TRIC-A and TRIC-B and understand their individual but complementary physiological roles.
It has been shown that glucocorticoids can modulate oxytocin (OT) secretion and disrupt maternal behaviour. Because the CB1 receptor (CB1R) has been implicated in some rapid glucocorticoid-induced actions, the present study aimed to evaluate the possible involvement of CB1Rs in maternal behaviour and neuronal activation during lactation. For this purpose, lactating female rats were pre-treated with dexamethasone (DEX) or saline, followed by treatment with AM251, a CB1R antagonist, or vehicle 90 min later. All of the experiments were performed 30 min after the administration of AM251 or vehicle. To evaluate maternal behaviour, the pups were returned to their home cages to the side of the cage opposite the previous nest after 12 h of separation and were filmed for the next 30 min. Aggressive behaviour was evaluated for 10 min following the placement of a male rat in the home cage. For the evaluation of behavioural performance, lactating rats were subjected to a T-maze and open-field tests. The amount of weight gained by the pups was evaluated 15 min after the onset of suckling to determine the amount of milk that they had obtained from the dam. In the central nervous system of lactating rats, c-Fos-positive nuclei were counted in the medial preoptic area, in both the ventral (v) and dorsal (d) parts of the median preoptic nucleus and in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST). The number of neurons that were double-labelled for c-Fos/OT was counted in the medial magnocellular subdivision of the paraventricular nucleus, in the periventricular hypothalamic nucleus and in the supraoptic nucleus of the lactating rats. The results show that DEX had the following effects: (1) decreased the amount time the dam spent licking the pups, the amount of time the dam spent in an arched-nursing position and full maternal behaviour; (2) increased the latency to the first attack and decreased front attacks; (3) increased anxiety-like behaviour; and (4) decreased weight gain in the pups. In addition, DEX decreased neuronal activation in all of the investigated hypothalamic and forebrain areas. AM251 administration reversed these parameters, indicating that the behavioural effects and neuronal responses produced by DEX in lactating rats are likely to be mediated by CB1Rs.
The insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor (IGF-1R), like the insulin receptor (IR), plays a significant role in determining bioavailability of the critical signalling molecule nitric oxide (NO) and hence, modulates endothelial cell function, particularly in response to stimulation with insulin. In particular, the ability of the IGF-1R to form hybrid receptors with the IR appears to be highly significant in determining the sensitivity of the endothelial cell to insulin. This review will examine the structure of the IGF-1R and how this, with particular reference to the ability of the IGF-1R and the IR to form hybrid receptors, may have an effect both on endothelial cell function and the development of cardiovascular disease.
Myoblast differentiation is mediated by a cascade of changes in gene expression including transcription factors such as myogenin. Subsequent to myoblast differentiation, there is an increase in expression of the transmembrane protein NADPH oxidase (Nox). Nox is one of the primary factors for the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in myogenic (C2C12) cells. Recently, ROS have been shown to be important regulators of several intracellular signaling pathways, and the full extent of their regulatory roles is yet to be discovered. In the present study, qRT PCR analysis demonstrated that Nox4 isoform is primarily expressed in differentiating C2C12 cells and contributes to the generation of ROS in C2C12 myoblast during differentiation. Over-expression and silencing of Nox4 expression during myoblast differentiation was accompanied by a reduction in intracellular ROS concentrations and an alteration in the expression patterns of Myf5, Pax7, MyoD1, and myogenin. This modulation was found to be associated with ERK1/2 phosphorylation. In both over-expression and reduced expression of Nox4, we found significant reductions in ERK1/2 phosphorylation. This indicates that cellular differentiation may be affected by Nox4-mediated endogenous ROS generation. These data suggest a new opportunity to study the temporal expression of Nox4 in the generation of ROS accompanying changes in myogenic differentiation.
Low-voltage-activated T-type calcium channels play important roles in neuronal physiology where they control cellular excitability and synaptic transmission. Alteration in T-type channel expression has been linked to various pathophysiological conditions such as pain arising from diabetic neuropathy. In the present study, we looked at the role of asparagine (N)-linked glycosylation on human Cav3.2 T-type channel expression and function. Manipulation of N-glycans on cells expressing a recombinant Cav3.2 channel revealed that N-linked glycosylation is critical for proper functional expression of the channel. Using site-directed mutagenesis to disrupt the canonical N-linked glycosylation sites of Cav3.2 channel, we show that glycosylation at asparagine N192 is critical for channel expression at the surface, whereas glycosylation at asparagine N1466 controls channel activity. Moreover, we demonstrate that N-linked glycosylation of Cav3.2 not only controls surface expression and activity of the channel but also underlies glucose-dependent potentiation of T-type Ca2+ current. Our data suggest that N-linked glycosylation of T-type channels may play an important role in aberrant upregulation of T-type channel activity in response to glucose elevations.
An ability to adapt to changes in oxygen availability is essential for survival in both prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms. Recently, cation channels encoded by the transient receptor potential (trp) gene superfamily have been recognized as multimodal sensors of a wide variety of factors inside the cells and in the extracellular environment and also as transducers of electrical and chemical signals mediated by ions such as Ca2+. The functional features of TRP channels enable the body to react and adapt to different forms of environmental changes, including oxygen levels. A subclass of TRP channels regulates various cellular processes in response to fluctuations in oxygen. In this article, we describe the physiological and pathological significance of the oxygen-sensitive TRP channels, which are heterogeneous in the cellular responses to acute changes in oxygen, by contrasting their oxygen monitoring function with that of other ion channels, transporters, and enzymes. We also discuss the physiological relevance of oxygen-sensitive TRP channels as a novel class of target proteins for pharmaceutical therapeutics.
A comparative analysis of a hyperpolarization-activated ion current present in amphibian oocytes was performed using the two-electrode voltage-clamp technique in Xenopus laevis, Xenopus tropicalis, and Ambystoma mexicanum. This current appears to be driven mainly by Cl− ions, is independent of Ca2+, and is made evident by applying extremely negative voltage pulses; it shows a slow activating phase and little or no desensitization. The pharmacological profile of the current is complex. The different channel blocker used for Cl−, K+, Na+ and Ca2+ conductances, exhibited various degrees of inhibition depending of the species. The profiles illustrate the intricacy of the components that give rise to this current. During X. laevis oogenesis, the hyperpolarization-activated current is present at all stages of oocytes tested (II–VI), and the amplitude of the current increases from about 50 nA in stage I to more than 1 μA in stage VI; nevertheless, there was no apparent modification of the kinetics. Our results suggest that the hyperpolarization-activated current is present both in order Anura and Urodela oocytes. However, the electrophysiological and pharmacological characteristics are quite perplexing and seem to suggest a mixture of ionic conductances that includes the activation of both anionic and cationic channels, most probably transiently opened due to the extreme hyperpolarizion of the plasma membrane. As a possible mechanism for the generation of the current, a kinetic model which fits the data suggests the opening of pores in the plasma membrane whose ion selectivity is dependent on the extracellular Cl− concentration. The extreme voltage conditions could induce the opening of otherwise latent pores in plasma membrane proteins (i.e., carriers), resembling the ´slippage´ events already described for some carriers. These observations should be valuable for other groups trying to express cloned, voltage-dependent ion channels in oocytes of amphibian in which hyperpolarizing voltage pulses are applied to activate the channels.
Aberrant ion channel expression in the plasma membrane is characteristic for many tumor entities and has been attributed to neoplastic transformation, tumor progression, metastasis, and therapy resistance. The present study aimed to define the function of these “oncogenic” channels for radioresistance of leukemia cells. Chronic myeloid leukemia cells were irradiated (0–6 Gy X ray), ion channel expression and activity, Ca2+- and protein signaling, cell cycle progression, and cell survival were assessed by quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction, patch-clamp recording, fura-2 Ca2+-imaging, immunoblotting, flow cytometry, and clonogenic survival assays, respectively. Ionizing radiation-induced G2/M arrest was preceded by activation of Kv3.4-like voltage-gated potassium channels. Channel activation in turn resulted in enhanced Ca2+ entry and subsequent activation of Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent kinase-II, and inactivation of the phosphatase cdc25B and the cyclin-dependent kinase cdc2. Accordingly, channel inhibition by tetraethylammonium and blood-depressing substance-1 and substance-2 or downregulation by RNA interference led to release from radiation-induced G2/M arrest, increased apoptosis, and decreased clonogenic survival. Together, these findings indicate the functional significance of voltage-gated K+ channels for the radioresistance of myeloid leukemia cells.
Renal K+ retention is activated during pregnancy through a mechanism unknown to date. Here, we showed that the renal stimulation of H,K-ATPase type 2 (HKA2), whose expression was recently identified to be progesterone-dependent, is part of the mechanism favoring K+ accumulation during gestation. Moreover, investigation of the gestational phenotype of HKA2-null mice compared to their wild-type (WT) littermate revealed a decrease in fertility (gestation was successful in 33 % of HKA2-null mice vs. 83 % of WT mice) and in litter size (6.5 ± 0.6 and 7.8 ± 0.4 fetuses per litter, respectively). We also observed that urinary K+ excretion decreased by 20 % and plasma K+ concentration rose slightly (11 %) in WT mice during gestation (relative to basal conditions). In contrast, the renal excretion of K+ and plasma K+ levels in HKA2-null mice remained constant during gestation, whereas fecal K+ excretion increased. As a consequence, HKA2-null mice did not accumulate K+ in their extracellular compartment as efficiently as WT mice did. Finally, the link between inefficient K+ balance adaptations and gestational complications was established when we observed that these complications could be reversed with an increased K+ uptake. Altogether, these results define a novel physiological role for the HKA2 transporter and uncover a link between K+ metabolism and fertility.
Extracellular ATP promotes an indirect contraction of airway smooth muscle via the secondary release of thromboxane A2 (TXA2) from airway epithelium. Our aim was to evaluate if common contractile agonists modify this response to ATP. Tracheas from sensitized guinea pigs were used to evaluate ATP-induced contractions before and after a transient contraction produced by histamine, carbachol, or serotonin. Epithelial mRNA for COX-1 and COX-2 was measured by RT-PCR and their expression assessed by immunohistochemistry. Compared with the initial response, ATP-induced contraction was potentiated by pretreatment with histamine, carbachol, or serotonin. Either suramin (antagonist of P2X and P2Y receptors) plus RB2 (antagonist of P2Y receptors) or indomethacin (inhibitor of COX-1 and COX-2) annulled the ATP-induced contraction, suggesting that it was mediated by P2Y receptor stimulation and TXA2 production. When COX-2 was inhibited by SC-58125 or thromboxane receptors were antagonized by SQ-29548, just the potentiation was abolished, leaving the basal response intact. Airway epithelial cells showed increased COX-2 mRNA after stimulation with histamine or carbachol, but not serotonin, while COX-1 mRNA was unaffected. Immunochemistry corroborated this upregulation of COX-2. In conclusion, we showed for the first time that histamine and carbachol cause hyperresponsiveness to ATP by upregulating COX-2 in airway epithelium, which likely increases TXA2 production. Serotonin-mediated hyperresponsiveness seems to be independent of COX-2 upregulation, but nonetheless is TXA2 dependent. Because acetylcholine, histamine, and serotonin can be present during asthmatic exacerbations, their potential interactions with ATP might be relevant in its pathophysiology.
The dinucleotide uridine adenosine tetraphosphate (Up4A), which has both purine and pyrimidine moieties, was reported as a novel endothelium-derived contracting factor. Recently, growing evidence has suggested that Up4A plays an important role in regulation of the cardiovascular function. We previously demonstrated that Up4A-induced vasoconstrictions are altered in arteries from DOCA-salt hypertensive rats. We have assessed responses to Up4A shown by renal arteries from type 2 diabetic Goto-Kakizaki (GK) rats (42–46 weeks old) and identified the molecular mechanisms involved. Concentration-dependent contractions to Up4A were greater in renal arterial rings from the GK than age-matched control Wistar group. In both groups, the inhibition of nitric oxide synthase (with N G-nitro-l-arginine) increased the response to Up4A, whereas the inhibition of cyclooxygenase (COX) (with indomethacin) decreased the response. Specific inhibitors of COX-1 (valeroyl salicylate) and COX-2 (NS398), a thromboxane (TX) receptor (TP) antagonist (SQ29548), and P2 receptor antagonist (suramin) also decreased the response to Up4A. Protein expressions of COXs in renal arteries were greater in the GK than Wistar group. The production of TXB2 (a metabolite of TXA2) by Up4A did not differ between these groups. Concentration-dependent contractions to U46619, an agonist of the TP receptor, were greater in renal arteries from the GK than Wistar group. The expression of P2X1 and P2Y2 receptors did not differ between these groups. These results suggest that enhancement of the Up4A-induced contraction in renal arteries from GK rats may be attributable to the increased activation of COXs/TP receptor signaling.
High salt diet induces renal medullary cyclooxygenase 2 (COX2) expression. Selective blockade of renal medullary COX2 activity in rats causes salt-sensitive hypertension, suggesting a role for renal medullary COX2 in maintaining systemic sodium balance. The present study characterized the cellular location of COX2 induction in the kidney of mice following high salt diet and examined the role of NFκB in mediating this COX2 induction in response to increased dietary salt. High salt diet (8 % NaCl) for 3 days markedly increased renal medullary COX2 expression in C57Bl/6 J mice. Co-immunofluorescence using a COX2 antibody and antibodies against aquaporin-2, ClC-K, aquaporin-1, and CD31 showed that high salt diet-induced COX2 was selectively expressed in renal medullary interstitial cells. By using NFκB reporter transgenic mice, we observed a sevenfold increase of luciferase activity in the renal medulla of the NFκB-luciferase reporter mice following high salt diet, and a robust induction of enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) expression mainly in renal medullary interstitial cells of the NFκB-EGFP reporter mice following high salt diet. Treating high salt diet-fed C57Bl/6 J mice with selective IκB kinase inhibitor IMD-0354 (8 mg/kg bw) substantially suppressed COX2 induction in renal medulla, and also significantly reduced urinary prostaglandin E2 (PGE2). These data therefore suggest that renal medullary interstitial cell NFκB plays an important role in mediating renal medullary COX2 expression and promoting renal PGE2 synthesis in response to increased dietary sodium.
The epithelial cells lining the thick ascending limb (TAL) of the loop of Henle perform essential transport processes and secrete uromodulin, the most abundant protein in normal urine. The lack of differentiated cell culture systems has hampered studies of TAL functions. Here, we report a method to generate differentiated primary cultures of TAL cells, developed from microdissected tubules obtained in mouse kidneys. The TAL tubules cultured on permeable filters formed polarized confluent monolayers in ∼12 days. The TAL cells remain differentiated and express functional markers such as uromodulin, NKCC2, and ROMK at the apical membrane. Electrophysiological measurements on primary TAL monolayers showed a lumen-positive transepithelial potential (+9.4 ± 0.8 mV/cm2) and transepithelial resistance similar to that recorded in vivo. The transepithelial potential is abolished by apical bumetanide and in primary cultures obtained from ROMK knockout mice. The processing, maturation and apical secretion of uromodulin by primary TAL cells is identical to that observed in vivo. The primary TAL cells respond appropriately to hypoxia, hypertonicity, and stimulation by desmopressin, and they can be transfected. The establishment of this primary culture system will allow the investigation of TAL cells obtained from genetically modified mouse models, providing a critical tool for understanding the role of that segment in health and disease.
It is well established that the release of vasodilators and vasoconstrictors from vascular endothelium regulates vascular smooth muscle contraction. In this report, we investigate the role of the endothelium in the development and maintenance of constitutive vascular contractility. For that purpose, contractile activity of cultured bovine aortic smooth muscle cells (BASMCs) embedded in collagen gels was monitored by changes in gel diameter. After culturing for 5 days, ATP- and high KCl solution-induced contractions were significantly enhanced in the gels that were overlaid with bovine aortic endothelial cells (BAECs) or were cultured with conditioned medium of cultured BAECs. ATP-induced Ca2+ transients, recorded in BASMCs cultured with conditioned medium of BAECs, were markedly augmented, but high KCl-induced Ca2+ transients were not affected. BASMCs in control gels were spindle shaped, and those in endothelium-treated gels were more elongated and interconnected. The endothelial conditioned medium also strongly affected the intracellular distribution of actin fibers. Conditioned medium of BAECs contained TGFβ1 and TGFβ2. The TGFβ receptor antagonist SB431542 as well as simultaneous treatment with TGFβ1 and TGFβ2 neutralizing antibodies completely reversed the above effects of endothelial conditioned medium on BASMCs. BAECs medium induced phosphorylation of Smad2 and increased ATP-induced phosphorylation of myosin light chain in BASMCs. The present results indicate that the release of TGFβ1 and TGFβ2 from vascular endothelium affects the contractility of vascular smooth muscle cells by altering their morphology and agonist-induced Ca2+ mobilization.