R I Weiner

CSU Mentor, Long Beach, California, United States

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Publications (32)178.38 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Estrogens are used extensively to treat hot flashes in menopausal women. Some of the beneficial effects of estrogens in hormone therapy on the brain might be due to nongenomic effects in neurons such as the rapid stimulation of calcium oscillations. Most studies have examined the nongenomic effects of estrogen receptors (ER) in primary neurons or brain slices from the rodent brain. However, these cells can not be maintained continuously in culture because neurons are post-mitotic. Neurons derived from embryonic stem cells could be a potential continuous, cell-based model to study nongenomic actions of estrogens in neurons if they are responsive to estrogens after differentiation. In this study ER-subtype specific estrogens were used to examine the role of ERalpha and ERbeta on calcium oscillations in neurons derived from human (hES) and mouse embryonic stem cells. Unlike the undifferentiated hES cells the differentiated cells expressed neuronal markers, ERbeta, but not ERalpha. The non-selective ER agonist 17beta-estradiol (E(2)) rapidly increased [Ca2+]i oscillations and synchronizations within a few minutes. No change in calcium oscillations was observed with the selective ERalpha agonist 4,4',4''-(4-Propyl-[1H]-pyrazole-1,3,5-triyl)trisphenol (PPT). In contrast, the selective ERbeta agonists, 2,3-bis(4-Hydroxyphenyl)-propionitrile (DPN), MF101, and 2-(3-fluoro-4-hydroxyphenyl)-7-vinyl-1,3 benzoxazol-5-ol (ERB-041; WAY-202041) stimulated calcium oscillations similar to E(2). The ERbeta agonists also increased calcium oscillations and phosphorylated PKC, AKT and ERK1/2 in neurons derived from mouse ES cells, which was inhibited by nifedipine demonstrating that ERbeta activates L-type voltage gated calcium channels to regulate neuronal activity. Our results demonstrate that ERbeta signaling regulates nongenomic pathways in neurons derived from ES cells, and suggest that these cells might be useful to study the nongenomic mechanisms of estrogenic compounds.
    PLoS ONE 01/2010; 5(7):e11791. · 3.53 Impact Factor
  • Qiumei Chen, Richard I Weiner, Brigitte E Blackman
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    ABSTRACT: The frequency of intrinsic pulsatile GnRH secretion from endogenous GnRH neurons and GT1 GnRH cell lines is stimulated by increased intracellular cAMP levels. The downstream molecules comprising the cAMP signaling pathway are organized in microdomains by a family of scaffolding proteins, A-kinase anchoring proteins (AKAPs). These molecules tether protein kinase A, cAMP-specific phosphodiesterases, phosphatases to known substrates. In neurons AKAP150 organizes many of the signaling molecules known to regulate the excitability and intrinsic pulsatile activity of GnRH neurons. AKAP150 was expressed in both the GT1-1 and GT1-7 cells. We determined the role of AKAP150 in coordinating GT1-1 cell excitability and intrinsic GnRH pulsatile secretion by lowering AKAP150 levels with a small interfering RNA (siRNA) adenovirus construct to AKAP150 (Ad-AKAP150-siRNA). Infection with Ad-AKAP150-siRNA specifically decreased AKAP150 mRNA levels by 74% and protein levels by 53% relative to uninfected cells or cells infected with a luciferase control adenovirus siRNA vector. In GT1 cells, spontaneous Ca(2+) oscillations, an index of neuron excitability, are stimulated by increased levels of intracellular cAMP and lowered by decreased levels. The frequency of spontaneous Ca(2+) oscillations in Ad-AKAP150-siRNA-treated GT1-1 cells decreased by 47.2% relative to controls. A dramatic decrease in the number of spontaneous GnRH pulses was also observed after infection with Ad-AKAP150-siRNA. The interpulse interval increased to 143 +/- 20.25 min in Ad-AKAP150-siRNA infected cells from 32.2 +/- 7.3 min in luciferase control adenovirus siRNA vector-infected cells. These data demonstrate an important role of AKAP150 in coordinating signaling events regulating the frequency of intrinsic pulsatile GnRH secretion.
    Endocrinology 11/2009; 151(1):281-90. · 4.72 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cultures of endogenous GnRH neurons and the GT1 GnRH neuronal cell line release GnRH in pulses (intrinsic pulsatile release) with an interpulse frequency similar to that seen in castrated animals. In both GT1 cells and transgenic rats, lowering cAMP levels by expression of a phosphodiesterase decreased the frequency of intrinsic GnRH pulsatility. We asked whether the cyclic nucleotide-gated cation (CNG) channels expressed in GT1 cells participated in cAMP modulation of intrinsic GnRH pulsatility. Because expression of the CNGA2 subunit is essential for formation of functional CNG channels, we developed an adenovirus (Ad) vector expressing a short interference RNA (siRNA) to the CNGA2 subunit (Ad-CNG-siRNA) or as an infection control, to the coding region of luciferase (Ad-Luc-siRNA). Infection with the Ad-CNG-siRNA of COS cells transfected with a CNGA2 expression vector significantly inhibited CNGA2 protein levels by 74% by Western blot. Infection of GT1-1 cells with Ad-CNG-siRNA resulted in a 68% decrease in the levels of CNGA2 mRNA, a 44% decrease in protein levels, and a clear decrease in immunostaining with an antibody to CNGA2. Infection of GT1-1 cells with Ad-CNG-siRNA decreased spontaneous Ca2+ oscillations compared with Ad-Luc-siRNA-infected or uninfected cells by 71%. Furthermore infection with Ad-CNG-siRNA resulted in a 2-fold increase in the interpulse interval in GnRH secretion (49.4+/-9.1 min) compared with uninfected cells (25.9+/-2.5 min) or Ad-Luc-siRNA (29.3+/-2.8 min)-infected cells. These data provide the first direct evidence that the CNG channel is a downstream signaling molecule in the regulation of the frequency of intrinsic GnRH pulsatility by cAMP.
    Endocrinology 07/2007; 148(7):3299-306. · 4.72 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In some species such as flies, worms, frogs and fish, the key to forming and maintaining early germ cell populations is the assembly of germ plasm, microscopically distinct egg cytoplasm that is rich in RNAs, RNA-binding proteins and ribosomes. Cells which inherit germ plasm are destined for the germ cell lineage. In contrast, in mammals, germ cells are formed and maintained later in development as a result of inductive signaling from one embryonic cell type to another. Research advances, using complementary approaches, including identification of key signaling factors that act during the initial stages of germ cell development, differentiation of germ cells in vitro from mouse and human embryonic stem cells and the demonstration that homologs of germ plasm components are conserved in mammals, have shed light on key elements in the early development of mammalian germ cells. Here, we use FRET (Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer) to demonstrate that living mammalian germ cells possess specific RNA/protein complexes that contain germ plasm homologs, beginning in the earliest stages of development examined. Moreover, we demonstrate that, although both human and mouse germ cells and embryonic stem cells express the same proteins, germ cell-specific protein/protein interactions distinguish germ cells from precursor embryonic stem cells in vitro; interactions also determine sub-cellular localization of complex components. Finally, we suggest that assembly of similar protein complexes may be central to differentiation of diverse cell lineages and provide useful diagnostic tools for isolation of specific cell types from the assorted types differentiated from embryonic stem cells.
    Developmental Biology 02/2007; 301(2):417-31. · 3.87 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Expression of a cAMP-specific phosphodiesterase in GnRH neurons in the GPR-4 transgenic rat resulted in decreased LH levels and pulse frequency and diminished fertility. We have characterized changes in fertility, adiposity, and reproductive and metabolic hormones with age. Although LH levels were decreased in 3-, 6-, and 9-month-old GPR-4 females relative to wild-type (WT) controls, GPR-4 females did not become anovulatory until 6 months of age. No differences were observed in FSH, estradiol, or androstenedione levels in 3-, 6-, or 9-month-old GPR-4 and WT females. At 9 months of age, GPR-4 females had significantly increased abdominal and sc fat depot weights that were associated with increased leptin and insulin levels not observed in WT females. We tested the hypothesis that metabolic changes observed at 9 months of age were the result of dysregulation of the mechanisms controlling energy balance. Two-month-old female GPR-4 rats placed on a high-energy diet gained weight at a rate significantly greater than WT females and, after 24 d, developed the same metabolic phenotype observed in 9-month-old GRP-4 females (increased abdominal and sc fat associated with elevated leptin and insulin concentrations). Overeating did not correlate with changes in estradiol or androstenedione levels. We conclude that decreased GnRH neuronal activity is closely associated with decreased reproductive function and dysregulation of food intake.
    Endocrinology 10/2005; 146(9):3800-8. · 4.72 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Increasing evidence suggests that fibroblast growth factors (FGFs) are neurotrophic in GnRH neurons. However, the extent to which FGFs are involved in establishing a functional GnRH system in the whole organism has not been investigated. In this study, transgenic mice with the expression of a dominant-negative FGF receptor mutant (FGFRm) targeted to GnRH neurons were generated to examine the consequence of disrupted FGF signaling on the formation of the GnRH system. To first test the effectiveness of this strategy, GT1 cells, a GnRH neuronal cell line, were stably transfected with FGFRm. The transfected cells showed attenuated neurite outgrowth, diminished FGF-2 responsiveness in a cell survival assay, and blunted activation of the signaling pathway in response to FGF-2. Transgenic mice expressing FGFRm in a GnRH neuron-specific manner exhibited a 30% reduction in GnRH neuron number, but the anatomical distribution of GnRH neurons was unaltered. Although these mice were initially fertile, they displayed several reproductive defects, including delayed puberty, reduced litter size, and early reproductive senescence. Overall, our results are the first to show, at the level of the organism, that FGFs are one of the important components involved in the formation and maintenance of the GnRH system.
    Molecular Endocrinology 02/2005; 19(1):225-36. · 4.75 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To examine the ability and mechanism of the 16 kDa N-terminal fragment of human prolactin (16K hPRL) in the inhibition of abnormal retinal neovascularization. The 16K hPRL-encoding sequence was inserted into an adenoviral vector (16K-Ad). Western blot analysis verified the expression of 16K hPRL and inhibition of proliferation, confirming functional activity of the 16K hPRL in virus-infected adult bovine aortic endothelial (ABAE) cells. 16K hPRL inhibited retinal neovascularization in a mouse model of oxygen-induced retinopathy. The ability of recombinant 16K hPRL expressed in E. coli (r16K hPRL) was compared to that of endostatin in inducing apoptosis of cultured human retinal endothelial cells (HREC). 16K was expressed in virus-infected ABAE cells and resulted in a dose-dependent inhibition of cell proliferation. Eyes injected with 16K-Ad showed a reduction in preretinal neovascularization of 82.3 +/- 9.3% (P < 0.00001) when compared to uninjected controls. r16K hPRL was 100 times more potent than endostatin in inducing apoptosis in HRECs. Intravitreal administration of 16K hPRL inhibited neovascularization in the mouse model of oxygen-induced retinopathy. 16K hPRL stimulated apoptosis in HRECs and inhibited cell proliferation in ABAE cells. These results suggested a potential therapeutic role for 16K hPRL in the treatment of proliferative retinopathies.
    Investigative Ophthalmology &amp Visual Science 07/2004; 45(7):2413-9. · 3.44 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Pharmacologically increasing cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) levels in GT1 gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) cell lines increased the secretion of GnRH. Dopamine (DA) increased the GnRH secretion in GT1 cells via a DA receptor positively coupled to adenylate cyclase. We then asked whether inhibition of the DA-induced increase in cAMP would block the stimulatory effect of DA on GnRH release. Expression of the cAMP-specific phosphodiesterase (PDE4D1) was used in a genetic approach to inhibit the DA-induced increase in cAMP levels. Cells were infected with an adenovirus vector (Ad) expressing PDE4D1 (PDE-Ad) or, for controls, with an empty Ad (Null-Ad). Infection with the PDE-Ad completely blocked the forskolin-induced stimulation of GnRH secretion and [Ca2+]i and decreased the majority of the release of cAMP into the culture medium. In contrast, although PDE-Ad infection blocked virtually all of the DA-induced increase in extracellular cAMP, the release of GnRH and the increase in [Ca2+]i were only delayed for approximately 15 min. GT1 cells express the D1 DA receptor which is positively coupled to adenylate cyclase but not the D5 DA receptor. These data suggest that the initial phase of the DA-induced secretion of GnRH is dependent on an increase in cAMP levels. However, it appears that an additional non-cAMP-regulated signaling pathway is involved in the stimulation of GnRH release via the D1 DA receptor.
    Neuroendocrinology 02/2004; 80(1):2-10. · 3.54 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Genetic targeting of the cAMP-specific phosphodiesterase 4D1 (PDE4D1) to gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons in the GPR-4 transgenic rat resulted in decreased luteinizing hormone (LH) pulse frequency in castrated female and male rats. A similar decrease in the intrinsic GnRH pulse frequency was observed in GT1 GnRH cells expressing the PDE4D1 phosphodiesterase. We have extended these findings in ovariectomized (OVX) GPR-4 rats by asking what effect transgene expression had on pulsatile LH and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) secretion, plasma and pituitary levels of LH and FSH, and levels of the alpha-glycoprotein hormone subunit (alpha-GSU), LH-beta and FSH-beta subunit mRNAs. In OVX GPR-4 rats the LH pulse frequency but not pulse amplitude was decreased by 50% compared to wild-type littermate controls. Assaying the same samples for FSH, the FSH pulse frequency and amplitude were unchanged. The plasma and anterior pituitary levels of LH in the GPR-4 rats were significantly decreased by approximately 45%, while the plasma but not anterior pituitary level of FSH was significantly decreased by 25%. As measured by real-time RT-PCR, the mRNA levels for the alpha-GSU in the GPR-4 rats were significantly decreased by 41%, the LH-beta subunit by 38% and the FSH-beta subunit by 28%. We conclude that in the castrated female GPR-4 rats the decreased GnRH pulse frequency results in decreased levels of LH and FSH and in the alpha- and beta-subunit mRNA levels.
    Neuroendocrinology 01/2004; 78(6):287-93. · 3.54 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Pulsatile GnRH secretion is an intrinsic property of GnRH neurons. Since increases in cAMP levels increase excitability and GnRH secretion in the GT1-1 GnRH cell line, we asked whether cAMP levels play a role in timing excitability and intrinsic pulsatile GnRH secretion. The expression of the cAMP-specific phosphodiesterase (PDE4D1) was used in a genetic approach to lower cAMP levels. Cells were infected with an adenovirus vector (Ad) expressing PDE4D1 (PDE-Ad), or for controls with an empty Ad (Null-Ad) or an Ad expressing green fluorescent protein (GFP-Ad). Infection with the PDE-Ad significantly inhibited forskolin-induced increases in cAMP production, GnRH secretion, and Ca2+ oscillations. Infection of GT1-1 cells with the PDE-Ad vs. GFP-Ad or Null-Ad controls significantly decreased spontaneous Ca2+ oscillations and inhibited the frequency of GnRH pulses. These data support the hypothesis that the level of cAMP in GT1 neurons is a component of the biological clock timing neuron excitability and pulsatile GnRH secretion. Genetically targeted expression of PDE4D1 represents a powerful approach to study the role of cAMP levels in specific populations of neurons in transgenic animals.
    Molecular Endocrinology 11/2003; 17(10):1982-90. · 4.75 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We have previously shown that the 16-kDa N-terminal fragment of human prolactin (16K hPRL) has antiangiogenic properties, including the ability to induce apoptosis in vascular endothelial cells. Here, we examined whether the nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) signaling pathway was involved in mediating the apoptotic action of 16K hPRL in bovine adrenal cortex capillary endothelial cells. In a dose-dependent manner, treatment with 16K hPRL induced inhibitor kappaB-alpha degradation permitting translocation of NF-kappaB to the nucleus and reporter gene activation. Inhibition of NF-kappaB activation by overexpression of a nondegradable inhibitor kappaB-alpha mutant or treatment with NF-kappaB inhibitors blocked 16K hPRL-induced apoptosis. Treatment with 16K hPRL activated the initiator caspases-8 and -9 and the effector caspase-3, all of which were essential for stimulation of DNA fragmentation. This activation of the caspase cascade by 16K hPRL was also NF-kappaB dependent. These findings support the conclusion that NF-kappaB signaling plays a central role in 16K hPRL-induced apoptosis in vascular endothelial cells.
    Molecular Endocrinology 10/2003; 17(9):1815-23. · 4.75 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Experiments in the GT1 gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) cell line have shown that the cAMP signaling pathway plays a central role in regulating the excitability of the cells. Lowering cAMP levels by expressing the constitutively active cAMP-specific phosphodiesterase PDE4D1 in GT1 cells inhibited spontaneous Ca2+ oscillations and intrinsic pulsatile GnRH secretion. To address the role of cAMP levels in endogenous GnRH neurons, we genetically targeted expression of PDE4D1 (P) to GnRH neurons in transgenic rats (R) by using the GnRH gene promoterenhancer regions (G). Three lines of transgenic rats, GPR-2, -4, and -5, were established. In situ hybridization and RT-PCR studies demonstrated that transgene expression was specifically targeted to GnRH neurons. Decreased fertility was observed in female but not in male rats from all three lines. The mean luteinizing hormone (LH) levels in ovariectomized rats were significantly reduced in the GPR-4 and -5 lines but not in the GPR-2 line. In castrated male and female GPR-4 rats, the LH pulse frequency was dramatically reduced. Six of twelve GPR-4 females studied did not ovulate and had polycystic ovaries. The remaining six females ovulated, but the magnitude of the preovulatory LH surge was inhibited by 63%. These findings support the hypothesis that cAMP signaling may play a central role in regulating excitability of GnRH neurons in vivo. The GPR-4 line of transgenic rats provides a genetic model for the understanding of the role of pulsatile gonadotropin release in follicular development.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 01/2003; 99(26):17191-6. · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    Mohammed El-Majdoubi, Richard I Weiner
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    ABSTRACT: The GT1 GnRH cell lines express all three subunits of the cyclic nucleotide-gated (CNG) channels (CNG2, 4.3 and 5) expressed in olfactory neurons. We investigated using in situ hybridization and double immunofluorescence whether endogenous GnRH neurons in therat also express CNG channel subunits. Sections from male and female adult rats were hybridized with a digoxigenin-labeled riboprobe made to regions of rat GnRH, CNG2, CNG4.3 or CNG5 cDNAs. In both sexes, 70-80% of GnRH neurons contained mRNAs for CNG2, CNG4.3 and CNG5. Similarly, double immunofluorescence staining for GnRH and CNG2, CNG4.3 or CNG5 confirmed that 70-80% of GnRH perikarya contained all three CNG subunit proteins. Moreover, the distribution of the immunostaining of CNG subunits in the external layer of the median eminence overlapped with GnRH with the presence of functional cAMP-gated cation channels. The presence of CNG channel subunits in the median eminence supports the notion that coordination of the excitability of the scattered GnRH perikarya may occur at the level of the nerve terminals.
    Endocrinology 07/2002; 143(6):2441-4. · 4.72 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The M(r) 16,000 NH(2)-terminal fragment of human prolactin (16K hPRL) is a potent antiangiogenic factor inhibiting endothelial cell function in vitro and neovascularization in vivo. The present study was undertaken to test the ability of 16K hPRL to inhibit the growth of human HCT116 colon cancer cells transplanted s.c. into Rag1(-/-) mice. For this purpose, HCT116 cells were stably transfected with an expression vector encoding a peptide that included the signal peptide and first 139 amino acid residues of human prolactin (HCT116(16K)). Stable clones of HCT116(16K) cells secreted large amounts of biologically active 16K hPRL into the culture medium. Growth of HCT116(16K) cells in vitro was not different from wild-type HCT116 (HCT116(wt)) or vector-transfected HCT116 (HCT116(vector)) cells. Addition of recombinant 16K hPRL had no effect on the proliferation of HCT116(wt) cells in vitro. Tumor growth of HCT116(16K) cells implanted into Rag1(-/-) mice was inhibited 63% in four separate experiments compared with tumors formed from HCT116(wt) or HCT116(vector) cells. Inhibition of tumor growth of HCT116(16K) cells was correlated with a decrease in microvascular density by 44%. These data demonstrate that biologically active 16K hPRL can be expressed and secreted from human colon cancer cells using a gene transfer approach and that production of 16K hPRL by these cells was capable of inhibiting tumor growth and neovascularization. These findings support the potential of 16K hPRL as a therapeutic agent for the treatment of colorectal cancer.
    Cancer Research 11/2001; 61(19):7356-62. · 8.65 Impact Factor
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    A Charles, R Weiner, J Costantin
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    ABSTRACT: GT1 cells are immortalized hypothalamic neurons that show spontaneous bursts of action potentials and oscillations in intracellular calcium concentration [Ca(2+)](i), as well as pulsatile release of GNRH: We investigated the role of cyclic nucleotide gated (CNG) channels in the activity of GT1 neurons using patch clamp and calcium imaging techniques. Excised patches from GT1 cells revealed single channels and macroscopic currents that were activated by either cAMP or cGMP. CNG channels from GT1 cells showed rapid transitions from open to closed states typical of heteromeric CNG channels, were selective for cations, and had an estimated single channel conductance of 60 picosiemens (pS). Ca(2+) inhibited the conductance of macroscopic currents and caused rectification of currents at increasingly positive and negative potentials. The membrane permeant cAMP analog Sp-cAMP-monophosphorothioate (Sp-cAMPS) increased the frequency of spontaneous Ca(2+) oscillations in GT1 cells, whereas the Rp-cAMPS isomer had only a slight stimulatory effect on Ca(2+) signaling. Forskolin, norepinephrine, and dopamine, all of which stimulate cAMP production in GT1 cells, each increased the frequency of Ca(2+) oscillations. The effects of Sp-cAMPS or NE on Ca(2+) signaling did not appear to be mediated by protein kinase A, since treatment with either H9 or Rp-cAMPS did not inhibit the response. The CNG channel inhibitor L-cis-diltiazem inhibited cAMP-activated channels in GT1 cells. Both L-cis-diltiazem and elevated extracellular Ca(2+) reversibly inhibited the stimulatory effects of cAMP-generating ligands or Sp-cAMP on Ca(2+) oscillations. These results indicate that CNG channels play a primary role in mediating the effects of cAMP on excitability in GT1 cells, and thereby may be important in the modulation of GnRH release.
    Molecular Endocrinology 07/2001; 15(6):997-1009. · 4.75 Impact Factor
  • R I Weiner, A Charles
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    ABSTRACT: The frequency and amplitude of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) pulses are tightly regulated for the maintenance of reproductive cycles. Pulsatile GnRH release was shown to be an intrinsic property of murine GT1 GnRH neurons, and primate placodal GnRH neurons. GT1 neurons show spontaneous action potentials that are associated with Ca2+ oscillations and hormone secretion. Increased cyclic AMP (cAMP) levels in GT1 neurons appear to stimulate GnRH release by activation of cAMP-gated cation (CNG) channels. Activation of the CNG channels correlated with increased neuron excitability and Ca2+ oscillations. Activation of protein kinase A is not necessary for cAMP-induced stimulation of GnRH secretion, but appears to activate negative feedback pathways. Potential negative feedback pathways may decrease cAMP levels by inhibiting adenylyl cyclase V, and activating the phosphodiesterase, PDE4D3. These stimulatory and inhibitory cAMP-signalling pathways appear to regulate the excitability of the GT1 neurons, and may constitute a biological clock timing the pulsatile release of GnRH.
    Growth Hormone & IGF Research 07/2001; 11 Suppl A:S9-15. · 2.26 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We asked whether the antiangiogenic action of 16K human PRL (hPRL), in addition to blocking mitogen-induced vascular endothelial cell proliferation, involved activation of programmed cell death. Treatment with recombinant 16K hPRL increased DNA fragmentation in cultured bovine brain capillary endothelial (BBE) and human umbilical vein endothelial (HUVE) cells in a time- and dose-dependent fashion, independent of the serum concentration. The activation of apoptosis by 16K hPRL was specific for endothelial cells, and the activity of the peptide could be inhibited by heat denaturation, trypsin digestion, and immunoneutralization, but not by treatment with the endotoxin blocker, polymyxin-B. 16K hPRL-induced apoptosis was correlated with the rapid activation of caspases 1 and 3 and was blocked by pharmacological inhibition of caspase activity. Caspase activation was followed by inactivation of two caspase substrates, poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) and the inhibitor of caspase-activated deoxyribonuclease (DNase) (ICAD). Furthermore, 16K hPRL increased the conversion of Bcl-X to its proapoptotic form, suggesting that the Bcl-2 protein family may also be involved in 16K hPRL-induced apoptosis. These findings support the hypothesis that the antiangiogenic action of 16K hPRL includes the activation of programmed cell death of vascular endothelial cells.
    Molecular Endocrinology 11/2000; 14(10):1536-49. · 4.75 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We studied the signaling pathways coupling gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) secretion to elevations in cAMP levels in the GT1 GnRH-secreting neuronal cell line. We hypothesized that increased cAMP could be acting directly by means of cyclic nucleotide-gated (CNG) cation channels or indirectly by means of activation of cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA). We showed that GT1 cells express the three CNG subunits present in olfactory neurons (CNG2, -4.3, and -5) and exhibit functional cAMP-gated cation channels. Activation of PKA does not appear to be necessary for the stimulation of GnRH release by increased levels of cAMP. In fact, pharmacological inhibition of PKA activity caused an increase in the basal secretion of GnRH. Consistent with this observation activation PKA inhibited adenylyl cyclase activity, presumably by inhibiting adenylyl cyclase V expressed in the cells. Therefore, the stimulation of GnRH release by elevations in cAMP appears to be the result of depolarization of the neurons initiated by increased cation conductance by cAMP-gated cation channels. Activation of PKA may constitute a negative-feedback mechanisms for lowering cAMP levels. We hypothesize that these mechanisms could result in oscillations in cAMP levels, providing a biochemical basis for timing the pulsatile release of GnRH.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 03/2000; 97(4):1861-6. · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Signaling pathways mediating the antiangiogenic action of 16K human (h)PRL include inhibition of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-induced activation of the mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK). To determine at which step 16K hPRL acts to inhibit VEGF-induced MAPK activation, we assessed more proximal events in the signaling cascade. 16K hPRL treatment blocked VEGF-induced Raf-1 activation as well as its translocation to the plasma membrane. 16K hPRL indirectly increased cAMP levels; however, the blockade of Raf-1 activation was not dependent on the stimulation of cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA), but rather on the inhibition of the GTP-bound Ras. The VEGF-induced tyrosine phosphorylation of the VEGF receptor, Flk-1, and its association with the Shc/Grb2/Ras-GAP (guanosine triphosphatase-activating protein) complex were unaffected by 16K hPRL treatment. In contrast, 16K hPRL prevented the VEGF-induced phosphorylation and dissociation of Sos from Grb2 at 5 min, consistent with inhibition by 16K hPRL of the MEK/MAPK feedback on Sos. The inhibition of Ras activation was paralleled by the increased phosphorylation of 120 kDa proteins comigrating with Ras-GAP. Taken together, these findings show that 16K hPRL inhibits the VEGF-induced Ras activation; this antagonism represents a novel and potentially important mechanism for the control of angiogenesis.
    Molecular Endocrinology 06/1999; 13(5):692-704. · 4.75 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Angiogenesis, the process of development of a new microvasculature, is regulated by a balance of positive and negative factors. We show both in vivo and in vitro that the members of the human prolactin/growth hormone family, i.e., human prolactin, human growth hormone, human placental lactogen, and human growth hormone variant are angiogenic whereas their respective 16-kDa N-terminal fragments are antiangiogenic. The opposite actions are regulated in part via activation or inhibition of mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling pathway. In addition, the N-terminal fragments stimulate expression of type 1 plasminogen activator inhibitor whereas the intact molecules have no effect, an observation consistent with the fragments acting via separate receptors. The concept that a single molecule encodes both angiogenic and antiangiogenic peptides represents an efficient model for regulating the balance of positive and negative factors controlling angiogenesis. This hypothesis has potential physiological importance for the control of the vascular connection between the fetal and maternal circulations in the placenta, where human prolactin, human placental lactogen, and human growth hormone variant are expressed.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 03/1999; · 9.81 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

1k Citations
178.38 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2007
    • CSU Mentor
      Long Beach, California, United States
  • 2005
    • University of Colorado at Boulder
      Boulder, Colorado, United States
  • 1991–2004
    • University of California, San Francisco
      • • Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences
      • • Center for Reproductive Sciences
      San Francisco, CA, United States
  • 1996
    • University of California, Los Angeles
      • Department of Physiology
      Los Angeles, CA, United States