Biochemical pharmacology

Pneumadin-evoked intracellular free Ca2+ responses in rat aortic smooth muscle cells: effect of dexamethasone.

PMID 10403532


The direct vascular effect of pneumadin (PN) was determined by studying the changes in intracellular free calcium ([Ca2+]i) levels in cultured rat aortic smooth muscle cells maintained between the second and fifth passages. PN evoked a rapid, concentration-dependent, biphasic increase in [Ca2+]i. The [Ca2+]i level rose from a basal value of 108 nM to a maximum increase in peak value of 170 nM. Although the level of maximal [Ca2+]i response evoked by PN was less than with other vasoactive agonists, it was more potent (EC50 0.5 nM) than even endothelin-1 (EC50 3.1 nM). At concentrations > 100 nM, [Ca2+]i elevations induced by PN above basal levels were no longer observed. Pretreatment with dexamethasone (100 nM for 24 hr) resulted in a significant increase (P < 0.01) in the peak [Ca2+]i response (310 nM) to PN. However, the biphasic pattern in the peak [Ca2+]i responses encountered with increasing concentrations of PN remained unaffected. The exaggerated [Ca2+]i response to PN was abolished by preincubation of cells with either the glucocorticoid antagonist mifepristone (RU 486) or the protein synthesis inhibitor cycloheximide. Inclusion of either an AT1 antagonist (losartan), a V1 selective vasopressin antagonist (d(Ch2)5 Tyr (Me) AVP), or an alpha-adrenoceptor antagonist (phentolamine) failed to affect the increases in [Ca2+]i induced by PN. PN-evoked increases in inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate levels paralleled the [Ca2+]i changes. These data suggest that PN increases Ca2+ mobilization in rat aortic smooth muscle cells via activation of phospholipase C coupled receptors. This effect is up-regulated by dexamethasone.