Modulation of Pituitary Adenylate Cyclase‐Activating Polypeptide (PACAP) Expression in Explant‐Cultured Guinea Pig Cardiac Neurons

University of Vermont College of Medicine, Department of Anatomy & Neurobiology, 149 Beaumont Avenue, HSRF 416A, Burlington, VT 05405, USA.
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences (Impact Factor: 4.38). 08/2006; 1070(1):298-302. DOI: 10.1196/annals.1317.030
Source: PubMed


Pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP) expression was quantified in explant-cultured guinea pig cardiac ganglia neurons. In explant culture, both the percentage of PACAP-immunoreactive neurons and pro-PACAP transcript levels increased significantly. Treatment with neurturin or glial-derived neurotrophic factor significantly suppressed the percentage of PACAP-IR neurons, but not pro-PACAP transcript levels.

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    ABSTRACT: The trophic neuropeptide pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP) increases in many different neuron types following injury; a response postulated to support cell survival and regeneration. In acutely isolated cardiac ganglia, approximately 1% of the cardiac neurons exhibited PACAP immunoreactivity whereas after 72 h in culture, approximately 25% of the neurons were PACAP immunoreactive. In contrast, there was no increase in vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP)-immunoreactive (IR) cells. Using a combination of immunocytochemical and molecular techniques, we have quantified PACAP expression, during explant culture of guinea-pig cardiac ganglia. Using real time polymerase chain reaction, PACAP transcript levels increased progressively up to 48 h in culture with no further increase after 72 h. PACAP transcript levels were reduced by neurturin at 48 h in culture but not after 24 or 72 h in culture. In addition, neurturin partially suppressed the percentage of PACAP-IR neurons after 72 h in culture, an effect mediated by activation of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase and mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling pathways. The addition of different known regulatory molecules, including ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF), interleukin-1 beta (Il-1beta), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNFalpha), fibroblast growth factor basic (bFGF), transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) and nerve growth factor (NGF) did not increase the percentage of PACAP-IR neurons after 24 h in culture; a result indicating that the generation and secretion of these factors did not stimulate PACAP expression. The presence of 20 nM PACAP or 10 muM forskolin increased the percentage of PACAP-IR cardiac neurons in 24 h cultures, but not in 72 h cultures. Neither treatment enhanced the number of VIP-IR neurons. The addition of the PACAP selective receptor (PAC(1)) receptor antagonist, M65 (100 nM) suppressed the 20 nM PACAP-induced increase in percentage of PACAP-IR cells in 24 h cultures indicating the effect of PACAP was mediated through the PAC(1) receptor. However, 100 nM M65 had no effect on the percentage of PACAP-IR cells in either 24 or 48 h cultures not treated with exogenous PACAP, suggesting that endogenous release of PACAP likely did not contribute to the enhanced peptide expression. We postulate that the enhanced PACAP expression, which occurs in response to injury is facilitated in the explant cultured cardiac ganglia by the loss of a target-derived inhibitory factor, very likely neurturin. In intact tissues the presence of neurturin would normally suppress PACAP expression. Lastly, our results indicate that many common trophic factors do not enhance PACAP expression in the cultured cardiac neurons. However, the stimulatory role of an, as yet, unidentified factor cannot be excluded.
    Neuroscience 06/2007; 146(2):584-93. DOI:10.1016/j.neuroscience.2007.02.001 · 3.36 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The neuropeptide PACAP (pituitary adenylate cyclase activating polypeptide) and its receptors are widely expressed in the nervous system and various other tissues. PACAP has well-known anti-apoptotic effects in neuronal cell lines. Recent data suggest that PACAP exerts anti-apoptotic effects also in non-neuronal cells. The peptide is present in the cardiovascular system, and has various distinct effects. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether PACAP is protective against in vitro ischemia/reperfusion-induced apoptosis in cardiomyocytes. Cultured cardiomyocytes were exposed to 60 min ischemia followed by 120 min reperfusion. The addition of PACAP1-38 significantly increased cell viability and decreased the ratio of apoptotic cells as measured by MTT test and flow cytometry. PACAP induced the phosphorylation of Akt and protein kinase A. In the present study we also examined the possible involvement of Akt- and protein kinase A-induced phosphorylation and thus inactivation of Bad, a pro-apoptotic member of the Bcl-2 family. It was found that ischemia significantly decreased the levels of phosphorylated Bad, which was counteracted by PACAP. Furthermore, PACAP increased the levels of Bcl-xL and 14-3-3 protein, both of which promote cell survival, and decreased the apoptosis executor caspase-3 cleavage. All effects of PACAP1-38 were inhibited by the PACAP antagonist PACAP6-38. In summary, our results show that PACAP has protective effects against ischemia/reperfusion-induced cardiomyocyte apoptosis and provides new insights into the signaling mechanisms involved in the PACAP-mediated anti-apoptotic effects.
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