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Chronic ethanol consumption disrupts G protein-dependent signaling pathways in rat adipocytes. Because lipolysis in adipocytes is regulated by G protein-mediated cAMP signal transduction, we hypothesized that cAMP-regulated lipolysis may be vulnerable to long-term ethanol exposure. Male Wistar rats were fed a liquid diet containing ethanol as 35% of total calories or pair-fed a control diet that isocalorically substituted maltose dextrins for ethanol for 4 wk. Lipolysis was measured by glycerol release over 1 h with or without agonists in adipocytes isolated from epididymal fat. Chronic ethanol feeding decreased beta-adrenergic receptor-stimulated lipolysis, but had no effect on basal lipolysis. In response to beta-adrenergic activation, the early peak of cAMP accumulation was suppressed after ethanol feeding, although the basal cAMP concentration in adipocytes did not differ between pair- and ethanol-fed rats. The suppression in cAMP accumulation caused by ethanol feeding was associated with increased activity of phosphodiesterase 4. Chronic ethanol feeding also decreased beta-adrenergic receptor-stimulated protein kinase A activation and phosphorylation of its downstream proteins, perilipin A and hormone-sensitive lipase, the primary lipase-mediating lipolysis. In conclusion, these data suggest that chronic ethanol feeding increased phosphodiesterase 4 activity in adipocytes, resulting in decreased accumulation of cAMP in response to beta-adrenergic activation and a suppression of beta-adrenergic stimulation of lipolysis.
We observed previously that activation of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors in area CA1 of the hippocampus, through either NMDA application or long-term potentiation (LTP)-inducing high-frequency stimulation (HFS), results in an increase in cyclic AMP. In the present study, we performed experiments to determine the mechanism by which NMDA receptor activation causes this increase in cyclic AMP. As the NMDA receptor-mediated increase in cyclic AMP is dependent upon extracellular calcium, we hypothesized that NMDA receptors are coupled to adenylyl cyclase (AC) via calcium/calmodulin. In membranes prepared from area CA1, AC was stimulated by calcium in the presence of calmodulin, and the effect of calcium/calmodulin on AC in membranes was blocked by the calmodulin antagonists N-(6-aminohexyl)-5-chloro-1- naphthalenesulfonamide (W-7) and trifluoperazine (TFP). In intact hippocampal slices, W-7 and TFP blocked the increase in cyclic AMP levels caused by both NMDA application and HFS of Schaffer collateral fibers. Exposure of hippocampal slices to elevated extracellular potassium to induce calcium influx also caused increased cyclic AMP levels; the increase in cyclic AMP caused by high potassium was also blocked by W-7 and TFP. These data support the hypothesis that NMDA receptor activation is positively coupled to AC via calcium/calmodulin and are consistent with a role for cyclic AMP metabolism in the induction of NMDA receptor-dependent LTP in area CA1 of the hippocampus.
We have previously shown that in cell extracts from rat striatum, cyclic AMP response element (CRE) binding protein (CREB), rather than AP-1 proteins, preferentially interacts with the CRE-2 element of the proenkephalin second messenger-inducible enhancer, even under conditions in which AP-1 proteins are highly induced. Here we use primary striatal cultures to permit a more detailed analysis of CRE-2 function and protein binding in relevant neural cell types. By transfection we find that in primary striatal cultures, as in transformed cell lines, the CRE-1 and CRE-2 elements are required for significant induction by cyclic AMP. We report that cyclic AMP induction of the proenkephalin gene in striatal cultures is protein synthesis independent, excluding a role for newly synthesized proteins like c-Fos. We also show that cyclic AMP induces CREB phosphorylation and that phosphorylated CREB interacts strongly with CRE-2 and weakly with CRE-1. The predominant protein bound to CRE-1 is not CREB, however, and remains to be identified. Despite some prior predictions, we do not find a role for c-Fos in cyclic AMP regulation of proenkephalin gene expression in neurons.