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T. Kubota, S. Kamada, M. Taguchi, S. Sakamoto and T. Aso

ABSTRACT

The present study was undertaken to investigate the effects of protein kinase C (PKC) activation and calcium mobilization on the release of prolactin from human decidual cells in early pregnancy. Decidua obtained from patients in early pregnancy was enzymatically dispersed and cultured with phorbol myristate acetate (PMA) and calcium ionophore A23187 in a cell culture system. Prolactin in the medium was measured by enzyme-immunoassay.

PMA, a PKC activator, dose-dependently attenuated the release of prolactin from cultured decidual cells, while a PKC inhibitor, H7, significantly (P < 0·001) diminished the effect of PMA on prolactin release. PMA had no effect on cell numbers or DNA synthesis in the decidual cells during culture. It did not significantly increase the generation of inositol phosphate in decidual cells prelabelled with myo[3H]inositol and it had no effect on intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca2 + ]i). Calcium ionophore A23187, a Ca2 +-mobilizing agent, also significantly (P<0·001) attenuated the release of prolactin and potentiated the PMA-induced suppression of prolactin release from decidual cells.

These findings suggest that activation of PKC and mobilization of Ca2+ may be involved in regulating prolactin release from human decidual cells. The PMA-induced suppression of prolactin release is not triggered by phosphoinositide hydrolysis nor by the increase in [Ca2 + ]i in decidual cells.

Journal of Endocrinology (1993) 137, 335–340

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F Ishihara, T Aizawa, N Taguchi, Y Sato and K Hashizume

Abstract

Insulin release, glucose utilization (3H2O formation from [5-3H]glucose), and glucose oxidation (14CO2 formation from [4C(U)] glucose) were determined in pancreatic islets from 96-h fasted rats at 37 ° C and those from fed rats at 22 ° C, using the islets from fed rats incubated at 37 ° C as controls. In the islets from 96-h fasted rats and those from fed rats incubated at 22 ° C, we could not demonstrate significant insulin release in response to high glucose concentrations of up to 16·7 mmol/l. However, 16·7 mmol/l glucose clearly augmented insulin release caused by a depolarizing concentration (50 mmol/l) of K+ in these islets: i.e. 16·7 mmol/l glucose plus 50 mmol/l K+ produced significantly greater insulin release than 50 mmol/l K alone. Glucose utilization and oxidation by the islet cells were suppressed by 96-h fasting of the rats or by lowering the incubation temperature to 22 ° C, and depolarization with K at 50 mmol/l did not at all augment glucose utilization and oxidation by the islets. Thus we conclude that reduction of glucose metabohsm in islets from fasted rats and in those incubated at low temperature eliminated initiation, but not augmentation, of insulin release by 16·7 mmol/l glucose. The data indicate that the metabolic threshold for the initiation of insulin release is significantly higher than it is for the augmentation of release by glucose.

Journal of Endocrinology (1994) 143, 497–503

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S. Kamada, T. Kubota, Y. Hirata, M. Taguchi, S. Eguchi, F. Marumo and T. Aso

ABSTRACT

Specific binding sites for endothelin-1 (ET-1), a novel potent vasoconstrictor peptide, as well as the effects of ET-1 on cytosolic free Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i), intracellular total inositol phosphate (IP) generation and steroidogenesis were studied in cultured porcine granulosa cells. Scatchard analysis of a binding study using 125I-labelled ET-1 indicated the presence of a single class of high-affinity binding sites with almost equal affinity for ET-1 and ET-3: the apparent dissociation constant was 0·59 nmol/l and the maximal binding capacity was 1·84 pmol/mg protein. Affinitylabelling of 125I-labelled ET-1 to the membranes using disuccinimidyl tartarate as a cross-linker revealed one major and one minor band with the apparent molecular weights of 32 kDa and 49 kDa respectively. ET-1 dose-dependently (1−100 nmol/l) induced rapid and transient increases in [Ca2+]i in fura-2-labelled cells. ET-1 also dose-dependently stimulated total IPs in cells prelabelled with myo-[3H]inositol. ET-1 had a slight stimulatory effect on the secretion of progesterone but not of oestradiol from porcine granulosa cells. The present data clearly demonstrate the presence of a non-selective ET receptor (ETB) in porcine granulosa cells coupled with phosphoinositide hydrolysis and [Ca2+]i mobilization, and suggest that ET-1 may play some role in the production of progesterone by porcine granulosa cells.

Journal of Endocrinology (1992) 134, 59–66

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T Taguchi, T Takao, Y Iwasaki, M Nishiyama, K Asaba and K Hashimoto

Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is believed to have an anti-tumor effect, as well as anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-aging effects. To clarify the possible inhibitory action of DHEA on pituitary tumor cells, we tested the effects of DHEA, alone or in combination with the nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) inhibitor parthenolide (PRT), on AtT20 corticotroph cell growth and function both in vitro and in vivo. We found that, in vitro, DHEA and PRT had potent inhibitory effects on pro-opiomelanocortin and NF-κB-dependent gene expression. They also suppressed the transcription activity of survivin, a representative anti-apoptotic factor, and induced apoptosis in this cell line. Furthermore, using BALB/C nude mice with xenografts of AtT20 cells in vivo, we found that the combined administration of DHEA and PRT significantly attenuated tumor growth and survivin expression. The treatment also decreased the elevated plasma corticosterone levels and ameliorated the malnutrition induced by tumor growth. Altogether, these results suggested that combined treatments of DHEA and PRT potently inhibit the growth and function of corticotroph tumor cells both in vitro and in vivo. This effect may, at least partly, be caused by the suppressive effects of these compounds, such as survivin and other inhibitor of apoptosis proteins, on NF-κB-mediated gene transcription.