Oxidative medicine and cellular longevity

Role of reactive oxygen species in the neural and hormonal regulation of the PNMT gene in PC12 cells.

PMID 22007271


The stress hormone, epinephrine, is produced predominantly by adrenal chromaffin cells and its biosynthesis is regulated by the enzyme phenylethanolamine N-methyltransferase (PNMT). Studies have demonstrated that PNMT may be regulated hormonally via the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and neurally via the stimulation of the splanchnic nerve. Additionally, hypoxia has been shown to play a key role in the regulation of PNMT. The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of reactive oxygen species (ROS) produced by the hypoxia mimetic agent CoCl(2), on the hormonal and neural stimulation of PNMT in an in vitro cell culture model, utilizing the rat pheochromocytoma (PC12) cell line. RT-PCR analyses show inductions of the PNMT intron-retaining and intronless mRNA splice variants by CoCl(2) (3.0- and 1.76-fold, respectively). Transient transfection assays of cells treated simultaneously with CoCl(2) and the synthetic glucocorticoid, dexamethasone, show increased promoter activity (18.5-fold), while mRNA levels of both splice variants do not demonstrate synergistic effects. Similar results were observed when investigating the effects of CoCl(2)-induced ROS on the neural stimulation of PNMT via forskolin. Our findings demonstrate that CoCl(2)-induced ROS have synergistic effects on hormonal and neural activation of the PNMT promoter.