Ruwei Xu

Prince Henry's Institute, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Are you Ruwei Xu?

Claim your profile

Publications (8)31.13 Total impact

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Growth hormone (GH)-releasing hormone (GHRH) and GH-releasing peptides (GHRPs) stimulate the release of GH through their specific receptors on somatotropes. Combined GHRH and GHRP administration causes a synergistic GH release in vivo by an unknown mechanism. The current study focuses on the direct action of GHRH and GHRP on several molecular targets in somatotropes. To clarify the mechanism of action, ovine somatotropes were used to measure the expression of mRNAs encoding for GH, pituitary transcription factor-1 (Pit-1), GH-secretagogue receptor (GHS-R), GHRH-R, somatostatin receptor subtypes (sst-1 and sst-2) and GH release after GHRH and GHRP-2 treatment for 0.5, 1, 1.5 and 2 h. GHRH (10 nM), GHRP-2 (100 nM) and combined GHRH-GHRP-2 increased the levels of GH mRNA and GH release from 0.5 to 2 h in a time-dependent manner. The levels of Pit-1, GHRH-R and GHS-R mRNA were increased after 0.5 h treatment of cells with GHRH and GHRP-2. The levels of sst-1 but not sst-2 mRNA were significantly increased after 0.5 and 1 h of GHRH treatment. In contrast, both sst-1 and sst-2 mRNA expression was inhibited after 0.5-2 h of GHRP treatment. These data demonstrate a direct in vitro modification of ovine somatotropes by GHRH and GHRP-2 resulting in altered GHRH-R, GHS-R, Pit-1, sst-1, sst-2 and GH gene expression; this may underlie the regulatory action of GHRH and GHRP-2 on GH secretion.
    European Journal of Endocrinology 03/2004; 150(2):235-42. · 3.14 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Extracellular adenosine triphosphate (ATP) has distinct effects on insulin secretion from pancreatic beta-cells between rats and mice. Using a confocal microscope, we compared changes between rats and mice in cytosolic free calcium concentration ([Ca2+]c) in pancreatic beta-cells stimulated by extracellular ATP. Extracellular ATP (50 microM) induced calcium release from intracellular calcium stores by activating P2Y receptors in both rat and mouse beta-cells. The intracellular calcium release stimulated by extracellular ATP is significantly smaller in amplitude and longer in duration in rat beta-cells than in mouse. In response to extracellular ATP, rat beta-cells activate store-operated calcium entry following intracellular calcium release. This response is lacking in mouse beta-cells. Rat and mouse beta-cells both responded to 9 mM glucose by increasing [Ca2+]c. This increase, however, was pronounced only in the rat beta-cells. In 9 mM glucose, extracellular ATP induced a pronounced calcium release above the increased level of [Ca2+]c in rat beta-cells. In mouse beta-cells, however, extracellular ATP did not exhibit calcium release on top of the increased level of [Ca2+]c in 9 mM glucose. These results demonstrate distinct responses between rat and mouse beta-cells to extracellular ATP under the condition of low and high glucose. Considering that extracellular ATP inhibits insulin secretion from mouse beta-cells but stimulates insulin secretion from rat beta-cells, we suggest that store-operated Ca2+ entry may be related to exocytosis in pancreatic rat beta-cells.
    Endocrine 01/2004; 22(3):185-92. · 3.53 Impact Factor
  • Chen Chen, Ruwei Xu
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Orexins, orexigenic neuropeptides, have recently been discovered in lateral hypothalamus and play an important role in the regulation of pituitary hormone secretion. Two subtypes of orexin receptors (orexin-1 and orexin-2) have been demonstrated in pituitaries. In this experiment, the effects of orexins on voltage-gated Ca2+ currents and the GH release in primary cultured ovine somatotropes were examined. Voltage-gated Ca2+ currents were isolated in ovine somatotropes as L, T, and N currents using whole-cell patch-clamp techniques and specific Ca2+ channel blocker and toxin. Application of orexin-A or orexin-B (100 nM) significantly, dose-dependently, and reversibly increased only nifedipine-sensitive L-type Ca2+ current. Inhibitors of PKC (calphostin C, PKC inhibitory peptide) but not inhibitors of PKA (H89, PKA inhibitory peptide) cancelled the increase in the L current by orexins. Co-administration of orexin-A and GHRH (10 nM) showed an additive effect on the L current. Specific intracellular Ca2+-store-depleting reagent, thapsigargin (1 microM), did not affect the orexin-induced increase in the L current. Orexin-B alone slightly increased GH release and co-administration of orexin-A and GHRH synergistically stimulated GH secretion in vitro. It is therefore suggested that orexins may play an important role in regulating GHRH-stimulated GH secretion through an increase in the L-type Ca2+ current and the PKC-mediated signaling pathways in ovine somatotropes.
    Endocrine 11/2003; 22(1):57-66. · 3.53 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Orexins, orexigenic neuropeptides, are secreted from lateral hypothalamus and orexin receptors are expressed in the pituitary. Since growth hormone (GH) secreted from pituitary is integrally linked to energy homeostasis and metabolism, we studied the effect of orexin-B on voltage-gated Ca(2+) currents and the related signalling mechanisms in primary cultured ovine somatotropes using whole-cell patch-clamp techniques. With a bath solution containing TEA-Cl (40 mM) and Tetrodotoxin (TTX) (1 microM), three subtypes of Ca(2+) currents, namely the long-lasting (L), transient (T), and N currents, were isolated using different holding potentials (-80 and -30 mV) in combination with specific Ca(2+) channel blockers (nifedipine and omega-conotoxin). About 75% of the total current amplitude was contributed by the L current, whereas the N and T currents accounted for the rest. Orexin-B (1-100 nM) dose-dependently and reversibly increased only the L current up to approximately 125% of the control value within 4-5 min. Neither a specific protein kinase A (PKA) blocker (H89, 1 microM) nor an inhibitory peptide (PKI, 10 microM) had any effect on the increase in L current by orexin-B. The orexin-B-induced increase in the L current was abolished by concurrent treatment with calphostin C (Cal-C, 100 nM), protein kinase C (PKC) inhibitory peptide (PKC(19-36), 1 microM), or by pretreatment with phorbol-12,13-dibutyrate (PDBu) (0.5 microM) for 16 h (a downregulator of PKC). Orexin-B also increased in vitro GH secretion in a dose-dependent manner. We conclude that orexin-B increases the L-type Ca(2+) current and GH secretion through orexin receptors and PKC-mediated signalling pathways in ovine somatotropes.
    Neuroendocrinology 04/2003; 77(3):141-52. · 3.54 Impact Factor
  • Source
    Ruwei Xu, Yufeng Zhao, Chen Chen
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Inward-rectifying potassium (Kir) channels are essential for maintaining the resting membrane potential near the K(+) equilibrium and they are responsible for hyperpolarisation-induced K(+) influx. We characterised the Kir current in primary cultured ovine somatotropes and examined the effect of growth hormone-releasing peptide-2 (GHRP-2) on this current and its related intracellular signalling pathways. The Kir current was, in most cases, isolated using nystatin-perforated patch-clamp techniques. In bath solution containing 5 mM K(+), the Kir current was composed of both transient (fast activated) and delayed (slowly activated) components. An increase in the external K(+) concentration from 5 to 25 mM induced an augmentation of approximately 4-fold in the delayed part of the Kir current and both BaCl(2) and CsCl dose-dependently inhibited this current, confirming the presence of the Kir current in ovine somatotropes. Moreover, this specific effect of high K(+) on the Kir current was only observed in the cells that showed positive staining with anti-growth hormone (GH) antibodies, or in GC cells that belong to a rat somatotrope cell line. Application of GHRP-2 (100 nM) reversibly and significantly reduced the Kir current in bath solutions with 5 or 25 mM K(+) in ovine somatotropes. In addition, we found that the reduction in the Kir current mediated by GHRP-2 was totally abolished by the pretreatments with H89 (1 microM) or Rp-cAMP (100 microM) or by intracellular dialysis of a specific protein kinase A (PKA) inhibitory peptide PKI (10 microM). The specific PKC blocker chelerythrine (1 microM) or inhibitory peptide PKC(19-36) (10 microM) did not show any effects on the GHRP-2-induced decrease in the Kir current. These results suggest that the inhibition of Kir current through PKA-cAMP pathways may play an integral role in GHRP-2-induced depolarisation and GH release in ovine somatotropes.
    The Journal of Physiology 01/2003; 545(Pt 2):421-33. · 4.38 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Orexins are recently discovered neuropeptides that play an important role in the regulation of hormone secretion, and their receptors have been recently demonstrated in the pituitary. The effects of orexin-A on voltage-gated Ca2+ currents and GH release in primary cultured ovine somatotropes were examined. The expression of orexin-1 receptor was demonstrated by RT-PCR in ovine somatotropes, from which Ca2+ currents were also isolated as L, T, and N currents. Application of orexin-A (100 nM) significantly and reversibly increased only the L current, and coadministration of orexin-A and GHRH (10 nM) showed an additive effect on this current, but no effect of orexin-A was observed on either T or N current. Furthermore, the orexin-A-induced increase in the L current was completely abolished by the inhibition of protein kinase C (PKC) activity using calphostin C (100 nM), phorbal 12,13-dibutyrate pretreatment (0.5 micro M) for 16 h or specific PKC inhibitory peptide PKC(19-36) (1 mM). However, the increase in L current by orexin-A was sustained when cells were preincubated with a specific protein kinase A blocker H89 (1 micro M) or a specific intracellular Ca2+ store depleting reagent thapsigargin (1 micro M). Finally, orexin-A alone did not significantly increase GH release, but coadministration of orexin-A and GHRH showed a synergistic effect on GH secretion in vitro. Our results therefore suggest that orexin-A may play an important role in regulating GHRH-stimulated GH secretion through the enhancement of the L-type Ca2+ current and the PKC-mediated signaling pathway in ovine somatotropes.
    Endocrinology 01/2003; 143(12):4609-19. · 4.72 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Influx of Ca2+ via Ca2+ channels is the major step triggering exocytosis of pituitary somatotropes to release growth hormone (GH). Voltage-gated Ca2+ and K+ channels, the primary determinants of the influx of Ca2+, are regulated by GH-releasing hormone (GHRH) through G-protein-coupled intracellular signalling systems. Using whole-cell patch-clamp techniques, the changes of the Ca2+ and K+ currents in primary cultured ovine and human somatotropes were recorded. Growth hormone-releasing hormone (10 nmol/L) increased both L- and T-type voltage-gated Ca2+ currents. Inhibition of the cAMP/protein kinase A (PKA) pathway by either Rp-cAMP or H89 blocked this increase in both L- and T-type Ca2+ currents. Growth hormone-releasing hormone also decreased voltage-gated transient (IA) and delayed rectified (IK) K+ currents. Protein kinase C (PKC) inhibitors, such as calphostin C, chelerythrine or downregulation of PKC, blocked the effect of GHRH on K+ currents, whereas an acute activation of PKC by phorbol 12, 13-dibutyrate (1 micromol/L) mimicked the effect of GHRH. Intracellular dialysis of a specific PKC inhibitor (PKC19-36) also prevented the reduction in K+ currents by GHRH. It is therefore concluded that GHRH increases voltage-gated Ca2+ currents via cAMP/PKA, but decreases voltage-gated K+ currents via the PKC signalling system. The GHRH-induced alteration of Ca2+ and K+ currents augments the influx of Ca2+, leading to an increase in [Ca2+]i and the GH secretion.
    Immunology and Cell Biology 09/2000; 78(4):356-68. · 3.93 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Whole-cell voltage-gated K+ currents and the K+ current response to growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH) were characterised in primary cultures of human acromegalic somatotropes.Both delayed rectifier (IK) and transient (IA) K+ currents were recorded from human somatotropes held at −80 mV and bathed in a solution containing Cd2+ (1 mM), TTX (1 μM) and a low concentration of Ca2+ (0.5 mM). Only IK was recorded, however, when a holding potential of −40 mV was used.GHRH (10 nM) immediately and significantly reduced the amplitude of both IA and IK. While the reduction in the amplitude of IA was fully reversed following the removal of GHRH, the amplitude of IK had only partially recovered 10 min after GHRH removal. In addition, GHRH shifted the voltage-dependent inactivation curve of IA by 13.5 mV in the negative direction.In a low Ca2+ and Cd2+-containing solution, the Ca2+-activated K+ channel blockers apamin (100 nM and 1 μM) and charybdotoxin (1 μM) did not alter K+ currents or the effect of GHRH on the recorded K+ currents.The whole-cell K+ currents and their responses to GHRH were unaffected by the application of 8-bromo-cAMP (100 μM), Rp-cAMP (100 μM) or the protein kinase A (PKA) inhibitor H89 (1 μM). In addition, intracellular dialysis of the PKA inhibitory peptide PKI (10 μM) had no effect on the K+ current response to GHRH.While the application of protein kinase C (PKC) inhibitors calphostin C (100 nM) or chelerythrine (1 μM) did not affect the amplitude of the K+ currents, the K+ current response to GHRH was significantly attenuated. Downregulation of PKC with phorbol 12,13-dibutyrate (PDBu, 0.5 μM for 16 h) also abolished the K+ current response to GHRH. In addition, intracellular dialysis of somatotropes with the PKC inhibitory peptide PKC19–36 (1 μM) prevented the GHRH-induced decrease in the amplitude of the voltage-gated K+ currents. Local application of PDBu (1 μM) significantly reduced the amplitude of the voltage-gated K+ currents in a similar manner to that induced by GHRH, but without clear recovery upon removal.This study demonstrates that GHRH decreases voltage-gated K+ currents via a PKC-mediated pathway in human adenoma somatotropes, rather than by the cAMP-PKA pathway that is usually implicated in the actions of GHRH.
    The Journal of Physiology 12/1999; · 4.38 Impact Factor