ABSTRACT: Progesterone is an endogenous immunomodulator that is able to suppress T cell activation during pregnancy. An increased intracellular free calcium concentration ([Ca(2+)](i)), acidification, and an inhibition of Na(+)/H(+)-exchange 1 (NHE1) are associated with this progesterone rapid non-genomic response that involves plasma membrane sites. Such acidification, when induced by phytohemagglutinin, is calcium dependent in PKC down-regulated T cells. We investigated the relationship between this rapid response involving the [Ca(2+)](i) increase and various membrane progesterone receptors (mPRs). In addition, we explored whether the induction of acidification in T cells by progesterone is a direct result of the [Ca(2+)](i) increase. The results show that the intracellular calcium elevation caused by progesterone is inhibited by SKF96365, U73122, and 2-APB, but not by pertussis toxin or U73343. The elevation is enhanced by the protein tyrosine kinase inhibitor staurosporine and the protein kinase C inhibitors Ro318220 and Go6983. These findings suggest that progesterone does not stimulate the [Ca(2+)](i) increase via the Gi coupled mPR(α). Furthermore, progesterone-induced acidification was found to be dependent on Ca(2+) entry and blocked by the inorganic channel blocker, Ni(2+). However, BAPTA, an intracellular calcium chelator, was found to prevent progesterone-induced acidification but not the inhibition of NHE1. This implies that acidification by progesterone is a direct result of the [Ca(2+)](i) increase and does not directly involve NHE1. Taken together, further investigations are needed to explore whether one or more mPRs or PGRMC1 are involved in bringing about the T cell rapid response that results in the [Ca(2+)](i) increase and inhibition of NHE1.
Steroids 03/2012; 77(10):1017-24. · 2.83 Impact Factor