Second messengers involved in genetic regulation of the number of calcium channels in bovine adrenal chromaffin cells in culture

C. H. Brennan, J. M. Littleton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Bovine adrenal chromaffin cells in culture show an increased formation of [3H]inositol phosphates (after preloading with [3H]inositol) on depolarisation with increased extracellular K+. This increased breakdown of inositol lipid is further increased by the dihydropyridine Ca2+ channel activator BAY K 8644 at nM concentrations, implying that proteins which bind dihydropyridines are involved in this mechanism. Further, pretreatment of adrenal cells with pertussis toxin (100 ng ml-1) prevented the K+-induced breakdown of inositol lipids, arguing the involvement of a pertussis toxin-sensitive G protein in the effect. Chronic exposure of bovine adrenal chromaffin cells to a concentration of ethanol which inhibits K+-induced breakdown of inositol phospholipid, caused a 70-100% increase in the binding of [3H]DHP sites. In these experiments it was found that excess extracellular Ca2+ would considerably reduce this up-regulation, whereas growth of cells in pertussis toxin closely mimicked the up-regulation obtained by growth of cells in ethanol. These experiments suggest that inhibition of membrane Ca2+ flux, through a G protein-associated channel, is closely involved in the ethanol-induced regulation of [3H]dihydropyridine binding sites. The inositol lipid-protein kinase C second messenger system is also implicated in this regulation, by experiments in which inhibitors of protein kinase C (chronic treatment with phorbol myristyl acetate, or with sphingosine) up-regulated binding sites for [3H]dihydropyridine to a similar extent as that seen with growth in ethanol.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)689-693
Number of pages5
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1990


  • adrenal chromaffin cells
  • calcium channels
  • dihydropyridine
  • ethanol
  • polyphosphoinositide hydrolysis
  • protein kinase C

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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