Integrins regulate neuronal neurotrophin gene expression through effects on voltage-sensitive calcium channels.

PMID 12732238


Integrin adhesion receptors regulate gene expression during growth and differentiation in various cell types. Recent work, implicating integrins in functional synaptic plasticity, suggest they may have similar activities in adult brain. The present study tested if integrins binding the arginine-glycine-aspartate (RGD) matrix sequence regulate neurotrophin and neurotrophin receptor gene expression in cultured hippocampal slices. The soluble RGD-containing peptide glycine-arginine-glycine-aspartate-serine-proline (GRGDSP) increased neurotrophin mRNA levels in transcript- and subfield-specific fashions. Integrin ligand effects were greatest for brain-derived neurotrophic factor transcripts I and II and barely detectable for transcript III. In accordance with increased nerve growth factor mRNA levels, GRGDSP increased c-fos expression as well. In contrast, growth-associated protein-43, amyloid precursor protein and fibroblast growth factor-1 mRNAs were not elevated. Ligand effects on brain-derived neurotrophic factor transcript II and c-fos mRNA did not depend on the integrity of the actin cytoskeleton, neuronal activity, or various signaling pathways but were blocked by L-type voltage-sensitive calcium-channel blockers. These results indicate that in mature hippocampal neurons integrin engagement regulates expression of a subset of growth-related genes at least in part through effects on calcium influx. Accordingly, these synaptic adhesion receptors may play the same role in maintaining an adult, differentiated state in brain as they do in other tissues and changes in integrin activation and/or engagement may contribute to dynamic changes in neurotrophin expression and to neuronal calcium signaling.