Activation of cyclic GMP-dependent protein kinase blocks alcohol-mediated cell death and calcium disruption in cerebellar granule neurons.
ABSTRACT: Alcohol during brain development leads to the widespread neuronal death observed in fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). In comparison, the mature brain is less vulnerable to alcohol. Studies into maturation-acquired alcohol resistance uncovered a protective mechanism that reduces alcohol-induced neuronal death through nitric oxide-cGMP-cyclic GMP-dependent protein kinase (NO-cGMP-cGK) signaling. However, the downstream processes underlying this neuroprotection remain unclear. Alcohol can disrupt levels of intracellular calcium ([Ca2+]i) in vulnerable neuronal populations to trigger cell death in both in vivo and in vitro models of FASD. Since cGK has been demonstrated to regulate and inhibit intracellular Ca2+ release, we examined the hypothesis that cGK confers alcohol resistance by preventing [Ca2+]i disruptions. Alcohol resistance, determined by neuronal survival after 24?h of alcohol exposure, was examined in primary cerebellar granule neuron (CGN) cultures derived from 5 to 7?day-old neonatal mice with an activator, 8-Br-cGMP, and/or an inhibitor, Rp-8-pCPT-cGMPS, of cGK signaling. Intracellular Ca2+ responses to alcohol were measured by ratiometric Ca2+ imaging in Fura-2-loaded CGN cultures after 8-Br-cGMP treatment. Our results indicate that activating cGK with 8-Br-cGMP before alcohol administration provided neuroprotection, which the cGK inhibitor, Rp-8-pCPT-cGMPS, blocked. Alcohol exposure elevated [Ca2+]i, whereas 8-Br-cGMP pretreatment reduced both the level of the alcohol-induced rise in [Ca2+]i as well as the number of cells that responded to alcohol by increasing [Ca2+]i. These findings associate alcohol resistance, mediated by cGK signaling, to reduction of the persistent and toxic increase in [Ca2+]i from alcohol exposure.
Project description:In ureteric microvessels the antagonistic relationship between Ca(2+) signalling in endothelium and Ca(2+) oscillations in myocytes and pericytes of arterioles and venules involves nitric oxide (NO), but the underlying mechanisms are not well understood. In the present study we investigated the effects of carbachol and NO donor SNAP on Ca(2+) signalling and vasomotor responses of arterioles and venules in intact urteric microvascular network in situ using confocal microscopy. Vasomotor responses of arterioles and venules induced by AVP correlated with the occurrence of Ca(2+) oscillations in the myocytes and pericytes and were not abolished by the removal of Ca(2+) from extracellular fluid. Carbachol-induced rise of intracellular Ca(2+) in endothelium was accompanied by the termination of the Ca(2+) oscillations in myocytes and pericytes. This carbachol-induced inhibitory effect on Ca(2+) oscillations in myocytes and pericytes was reversed by ODQ, an inhibitor of soluble guanylyl cyclase (sGC) and by Rp-8-pCPT-cGMPS, an inhibitor of protein kinase G (PKG). Ca(2+) oscillations in myocytes and pericytes were also effectively blocked by NO donor SNAP. An Inhibitory effect of SNAP was markedly enhanced by zaprinast, a selective inhibitor of cGMP-specific phosphodiesterase-5, and reversed by sGC inhibitor, ODQ and PKG inhibitor, Rp-8-pCPT-cGMPS. The cGMP analogue and selective PKG activator 8pCPT-cGMP also induced inhibition of the AVP-induced Ca(2+) oscillations in myocytes and pericytes. SNAP had no effects on Ca(2+) oscillations induced by caffeine in distributing arcade arterioles. Consequently, we conclude that NO- mediated inhibition of Ca(2+) oscillations in myocytes and pericytes predominantly recruits the cGMP/PKG dependent pathway. The inhibitory effect of NO/cGMP/PKG cascade is associated with suppressed Ca(2+) release from the SR of myocytes and pericytes selectively via the inositol triphosphate receptor (IP3R) channels.
Project description:Patients born with congenital heart defects frequently encounter arrhythmias due to defects in the ventricular conduction system (VCS) development. Although recent studies identified transcriptional networks essential for the heart development, there is scant information on the mechanisms regulating VCS development. Based on the association of atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) expression with VCS forming regions, it was reasoned that ANP could play a critical role in differentiation of cardiac progenitor cells (CPCs) and cardiomyocytes (CMs) toward a VCS cell lineage. The present study showed that treatment of embryonic ventricular cells with ANP or cell permeable 8-Br-cGMP can induce gene expression of important VCS markers such as hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated channel-4 (HCN4) and connexin 40 (Cx40). Inhibition of protein kinase G (PKG) via Rp-8-pCPT-cGMPS further confirmed the role of ANP/NPRA/cGMP/PKG pathway in the regulation of HCN4 and Cx40 gene expression. Additional experiments indicated that ANP may regulate VCS marker gene expression by modulating levels of miRNAs that are known to control the stability of transcripts encoding HCN4 and Cx40. Genetic ablation of NPRA revealed significant decreases in VCS marker gene expression and defects in Purkinje fiber arborisation. These results provide mechanistic insights into the role of ANP/NPRA signaling in VCS formation.
Project description:Coronary venous activity is modulated by endogenous and exogenous nitrovasodilators. The present study was to determine the role of protein kinase G (PKG) in the regulation of the basal tension and nitrovasodilator-induced relaxation of coronary veins.Effects of a PKG inhibitor on the basal tension and responses induced by nitroglycerin, DETA NONOate, and 8-Br-cGMP in isolated porcine coronary veins were determined. Cyclic cGMP was measured with radioimmunoassay. PKG activity was determined by measuring the incorporation of 32P from gamma-32P-ATP into the specific substrate BPDEtide.Rp-8-Br-PET-cGMPS, a specific PKG inhibitor, increased the basal tension of porcine coronary veins and decreased PKG activity. The increase in tension was 38% of that caused by nitro-L-arginine. Relaxation of the veins induced by nitroglycerin and DETA NONOate was accompanied with increases in cGMP content and PKG activity. These effects were largely eliminated by inhibiting soluble guanylyl cyclase with ODQ. The increase in PKG activity induced by the nitrovasodilators was abolished by Rp-8-Br-PET-cGMPS. The relaxation caused by these dilators and by 8-Br-cGMP at their EC50 was attenuated by the PKG inhibitor by 51-66%.These results suggest that PKG is critically involved in nitric oxide-mediated regulation of the basal tension in porcine coronary veins and that it plays a primary role in relaxation induced by nitrovasodilators. Since nitric oxide plays a key role in modulating coronary venous activity, augmentation of PKG may be a therapeutic target for improving coronary blood flow.
Project description:The amino acids involved in substrate (cAMP) binding to human platelet cGMP-inhibited cAMP phosphodiesterase (PDE3A) are identified. Less is known about the inhibitor (cGMP) binding site. We have now synthesized a nonhydrolyzable reactive cGMP analog, Rp-guanosine-3',5'-cyclic-S-(4-bromo-2, 3-dioxobutyl)monophosphorothioate (Rp-cGMPS-BDB). Rp-cGMPS-BDB irreversibly inactivates PDE3A (K(I)=43.4+/-7.2muM and k(cart)=0.007+/-0.0006 min(-1)). The effectiveness of protectants in decreasing the rate of inactivation by Rp-cGMPS-BDB is: Rp-cGMPS (K(d)=72 microM)>Sp-cGMPS (124), Sp-cAMPS (182)>GMP (1517), Rp-cAMPS (3762), AMP (4370 microM). NAD(+), neither a substrate nor an inhibitor of PDE3A, does not protect. Nonhydrolyzable cGMP analogs exhibit greater affinity than the cAMP analogs. These results indicate that Rp-cGMPS-BDB targets favorably the cGMP binding site consistent with a docking model of PDE3A-Rp-cGMPS-BDB active site. We conclude that Rp-cGMPS-BDB is an effective active site-directed affinity label for PDE3A with potential for other cGMP-dependent enzymes.
Project description:Cyclic GMP analogs, 8-Br, 8-pCPT, and PET-cGMP, have been widely used for characterizing cellular functions of cGMP-dependent protein kinase (PKG) I and II isotypes. However, interpreting results obtained using these analogs has been difficult due to their low isotype specificity. Additionally, each isotype has two binding sites with different cGMP affinities and analog selectivities, making understanding the molecular basis for isotype specificity of these compounds even more challenging. To determine isotype specificity of cGMP analogs and their structural basis, we generated the full-length regulatory domains of PKG I and II isotypes with each binding site disabled, determined their affinities for these analogs, and obtained cocrystal structures of both isotypes bound with cGMP analogs. Our affinity and activation measurements show that PET-cGMP is most selective for PKG I, whereas 8-pCPT-cGMP is most selective for PKG II. Our structures of cyclic nucleotide binding (CNB) domains reveal that the B site of PKG I is more open and forms a unique ?/? interaction through Arg285 at ?4 with the PET moiety, whereas the A site of PKG II has a larger ?5/?6 pocket that can better accommodate the bulky 8-pCPT moiety. Our structural and functional results explain the selectivity of these analogs for each PKG isotype and provide a starting point for the rational design of isotype selective activators.
Project description:The brains of fetal alcohol syndrome patients exhibit impaired neuronal migration, but little is known about the mechanisms underlying this abnormality. Here we show that Ca2+ signaling and cyclic nucleotide signaling are the central targets of alcohol action in neuronal cell migration. Acute administration of ethanol reduced the frequency of transient Ca2+ elevations in migrating neurons and cGMP levels and increased cAMP levels. Experimental manipulations of these second-messenger pathways, through stimulating Ca2+ and cGMP signaling or inhibiting cAMP signaling, completely reversed the action of ethanol on neuronal migration in vitro as well as in vivo. Each second messenger has multiple but distinct downstream targets, including Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II, calcineurin, protein phosphatase 1, Rho GTPase, mitogen-activated protein kinase, and phosphoinositide 3-kinase. These results demonstrate that the aberrant migration of immature neurons in the fetal brain caused by maternal alcohol consumption may be corrected by controlling the activity of these second-messenger pathways.
Project description:The effect of cGMP on noradrenaline-induced intracellular Ca2+ mobilization was investigated in whole-cell voltage-clamped guinea-pig hepatocytes. Treatment of the cells with 8-Br-cGMP (1-500 microM) resulted in an increase in the sensitivity of the cells to noradrenaline and to inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (InsP3) photo-released from caged InsP3. The positive effect of 8-Br-cGMP on the Ca2+ release evoked by Ca(2+)-mobilizing agonists or InsP3 was blocked by a protein kinase G (PKG; cGMP-dependent protein kinase) inhibitor, the RP-8-(4-chlorophenylthio)guanosine 3':5'-monophosphorothioate. 8-Br-cGMP affected neither the basal InsP3 concentration nor the noradrenaline-induced production of InsP3. In permeabilized hepatocytes, the dose-response curve for InsP3-induced Ca2+ release was shifted to the left in the presence of 8-Br-cGMP. Furthermore, the treatment with 8-Br-cGMP did not affect the Ca2+ content of the InsP3-sensitive Ca2+ stores. These results indicate that intracellular cGMP potentiates the noradrenaline-induced Ca2+ response by enhancing Ca2+ release from the intracellular Ca2+ stores. We suggest that cGMP increases the apparent affinity of InsP3 receptors for InsP3 in guinea-pig hepatocytes probably by phosphorylation via the activation of PKG.
Project description:Ectopic neurons are often found in the brains of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) and fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) patients, suggesting that alcohol exposure impairs neuronal cell migration. Although it has been reported that alcohol decreases the speed of neuronal cell migration, little is known about whether alcohol also affects the turning of neurons. Here we show that ethanol exposure inhibits the turning of cerebellar granule cells in vivo and in vitro. First, in vivo studies using P10 mice demonstrated that a single intraperitoneal injection of ethanol not only reduces the number of turning granule cells but also alters the mode of turning at the EGL-ML border of the cerebellum. Second, in vitro analysis using microexplant cultures of P0-P3 mouse cerebella revealed that ethanol directly reduces the frequency of spontaneous granule cell turning in a dose-dependent manner. Third, the action of ethanol on the frequency of granule cell turning was significantly ameliorated by stimulating Ca(2+) and cGMP signaling or by inhibiting cAMP signaling. Taken together, these results indicate that ethanol affects the frequency and mode of cerebellar granule cell turning through alteration of the Ca(2+) and cyclic nucleotide signaling pathways, suggesting that the abnormal allocation of neurons found in the brains of FASD and FSA patients results, at least in part, from impaired turning of immature neurons by alcohol.
Project description:Dendritic-cell (DC) migration to secondary lymphoid organs is crucial for the initiation of adaptive immune responses. Although LPS up-regulates CCR7 on DCs, a second signal is required to enable them to migrate toward the chemokine CCL19 (MIP-3beta). We found that the nitric oxide (NO) donor NOR4 provides a signal allowing LPS-stimulated DCs to migrate toward CCL19. NO affects DC migration through both the initial activation of the cGMP/cGMP kinase (cGMP/cGK) pathway and a long-term effect that reduced cGK activity via negative feedback. Indeed, migration of DCs toward CCL19, unlike migration toward CXCL12 (SDF-1alpha), required inhibition of cGK. LPS increased both cGK expression and cGK activity as measured by phosphorylation of the key cGK target vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein (VASP). Because cGK phosphorylation of VASP can disrupt focal adhesions and inhibit cell migration, LPS-induced VASP phosphorylation may prevent DCs from migrating without a second signal. Long-term NOR4 treatment inhibited the increase in cGK-dependent VASP phosphorylation, releasing this brake so that DCs can migrate. NO has been implicated in the regulation of autoimmunity through its effect on T cells. Our results suggest that NO regulation of DC migration and cytokine production may contribute to the protective effects of NO in autoimmune disorders.
Project description:Neuronal plasticity deficits underlie many of the neurobehavioral problems seen in fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). Recently, we showed that third trimester alcohol exposure leads to a persistent disruption in ocular dominance (OD) plasticity. For instance, a few days of monocular deprivation results in a robust reduction of cortical regions responsive to the deprived eye in normal animals, but not in ferrets exposed early to alcohol. This plasticity deficit can be reversed if alcohol-exposed animals are treated with a phosphodiesterase type 1 (PDE1) inhibitor during the period of monocular deprivation. PDE1 inhibition can increase cAMP and cGMP levels, activating transcription factors such as the cAMP response element binding protein (CREB) and the serum response factor (SRF). SRF is important for many plasticity processes such as LTP, LTD, spine motility, and axonal pathfinding. Here we attempt to rescue OD plasticity in alcohol-treated ferrets using a Sindbis viral vector to express a constitutively active form of SRF during the period of monocular deprivation. Using optical imaging of intrinsic signals and single-unit recordings, we observed that overexpression of a constitutively active form of SRF, but neither its dominant-negative nor GFP, restored OD plasticity in alcohol-treated animals. Surprisingly, this restoration was observed throughout the extent of the primary visual cortex and most cells infected by the virus were positive for GFAP rather than NeuN. This finding suggests that overexpression of SRF in astrocytes may reduce the deficits in neuronal plasticity seen in models of FASD.