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R. Muff and J. A. Fischer


The secretion of parathyroid hormone (PTH) is inversely related to the extracellular Ca2+ concentration (Cae 2+). To test the hypothesis that a Ca2+ sensor on the surface of parathyroid cells is involved in Ca2+-regulated PTH secretion, limited trypsinization of bovine parathyroid cells was carried out. Treatment with trypsin (1·1–10 mg/ml) inhibited, in a dose-dependent manner, PTH secretion stimulated by lowering Cae 2+ from 2·0 to 0·5 mmol/l. In control cells, activation of protein kinase C with 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA) enhanced PTH secretion at 2·0 mmol Cae 2+/1 but not at 0·5 mmol Cae 2+/1. In trypsinized cells, however, TPA enhanced PTH secretion at both 0·5 and 2·0 mmol Cae 2+/1. Isoproterenol-stimulated PTH secretion was maintained in trypsinized cells, but reduced cyclic AMP production revealed that some β-adrenergic receptors were destroyed. The cytosolic free Ca2+ concentration (Cai 2+), as measured with fura-2, was raised within seconds in response to increasing Cae 2+ from 0·5 to 2·0 mmol/l and was then lowered within 1 min to a sustained plateau; the changes were the same in trypsinized and control cells. In conclusion, trypsinization of parathyroid cells abolished Ca2+-regulated PTH secretion without affecting Cai 2+.

Journal of Endocrinology (1989) 122, 213–218

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S. Haller-Brem, R. Muff and J. A. Fischer


Calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) and calcitonin are secreted together from medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) cells. Interactions of cytosolic free calcium concentration (Cai 2+) and the protein kinase C and A pathways on the secretion of immunoreactive CGRP and calcitonin have been investigated in a human MTC cell line. Ionomycin (10 μmol/l) raised the concentration of Cai 2+, concomitant with a transient stimulation of the secretion of CGRP and calcitonin. 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA; 16 nmol/l) did not affect the concentration of Cai 2+, but caused a gradual rise of the secretion of CGRP and calcitonin. Combined addition of 10 μmol ionomycin/1 and 16 nmol TPA/1 resulted in additive stimulation of CGRP and calcitonin secretory responses. Forskolin (10 μmol/l) alone did not change the concentration of Cai 2+, marginally enhanced (P>0·1) the release of CGRP and calcitonin and increased by 23-fold the cellular levels of cyclic AMP (cAMP). Ionomycin and TPA did not change cellular cAMP. Forskolin synergistically enhanced (P<0·01) the ionomycin-induced early phase as well as the TPA-induced late phase of the CGRP and calcitonin secretory responses. In conclusion, increased concentrations of Cai 2+ together with protein kinase C and A activation mediate the secretion of CGRP and calcitonin in MTC cells.

J. Endocr. (1988) 119, 147–152

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U Zimmermann, B Fluehmann, W Born, JA Fischer and R Muff

Amylin, calcitonin (CT) and calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) share limited structural homology including amino-terminal ring structures linked by a disulfide bridge and amidated carboxy-termini. Here, we have compared [125I]Bolton-Hunter-[Lys1] rat amylin ([125I]amylin) binding and the stimulation of cyclic AMP accumulation by human (h) amylin, hCT and hCGRP-I in the human breast carcinoma cell lines MCF-7 and T47D, which predominantly express hCT1a and hCT1b receptor isoforms (hCTR1a, hCTR1b) at a similar total number of hCT-binding sites. In MCF-7 cells, half-maximal inhibition (IC50) of [125I]amylin binding by human amylin was observed at 3.6 +/- 0.8 nM (n = 6). hCT and hCGRP-I displaced [125I]amylin binding with 22 and 66 times higher IC50. [125I]hCT binding was inhibited by hCT with an IC50 of 8.1 +/- 1.9 nM (n = 5), and human amylin and hCGRP-I were over 100 times less potent. In T47D cells, on the other hand, specific binding of [125I]amylin was not observed, but hCT inhibited [125I]hCT binding with an IC50 of 3.2 +/- 0.4 nM (n = 3), and human amylin and hCGRP-I had over 200 times higher IC50. In MCF-7 cells, half-maximal stimulation (EC50) of cyclic AMP accumulation by human amylin, hCT and hCGRP-I occurred at 1.4 +/- 0.2, 1.7 +/- 0.4 and 6.3 +/- 1.3 nM respectively. In T47D cells, the EC50 of hCT was 0.32 +/- 0.02 nM (n = 3), and 30- and 1900-fold higher with human amylin and hCGRP-I. In conclusion, the expression of hCTR1a and hCTR1b and [125I]hCT binding were indistinguishable in MCF-7 and T47D cells. Yet, [125I]amylin binding was only recognized in MCF-7 cells, consistent with a distinct amylin receptor.