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Adrenal chromaffin cells (ACCs) are the neuroendocrine arm of the sympathetic nervous system and key mediators of the physiological stress response. Acetylcholine (ACh) released from preganglionic splanchnic nerves activates nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) on chromaffin cells causing membrane depolarization, opening voltage-gated Ca channels (VGCC), and exocytosis of catecholamines and neuropeptides. The serotonin transporter is expressed in ACCs and interacts with 5-HT receptors to control secretion. In addition to blocking the serotonin transporter, some selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are also agonists at sigma-1 receptors which function as intracellular chaperone proteins and can translocate to the plasma membrane to modulate ion channels. Therefore, we investigated whether SSRIs and other sigma-1 receptor ligands can modulate stimulus-secretion coupling in ACCs. Escitalopram and fluvoxamine (100 nM to 1 μM) reversibly inhibited nAChR currents. The sigma-1 receptor antagonists NE-100 and BD-1047 also blocked nAChR currents (≈ 50% block at 100 nM) as did PRE-084, a sigma-1 receptor agonist. Block of nAChR currents by fluvoxamine and NE-100 was not additive suggesting a common site of action. VGCC currents were unaffected by the drugs. Neither the increase in cytosolic [Ca ] nor the resulting catecholamine secretion evoked by direct membrane depolarization to bypass nAChRs was altered by fluvoxamine or NE-100. However, both Ca entry and catecholamine secretion evoked by the cholinergic agonist carbachol were significantly reduced by fluvoxamine or NE-100. Together, our data suggest that sigma-1 receptors do not acutely regulate catecholamine secretion. Rather, SSRIs and other sigma-1 receptor ligands inhibit secretion evoked by cholinergic stimulation because of direct block of Ca entry via nAChRs.
© 2017 International Society for Neurochemistry.
Heart rate recovery (HRR) after exercise is an independent predictor of adverse cardiovascular outcomes. HRR is mediated by both parasympathetic reactivation and sympathetic withdrawal and is highly heritable. We examined whether common genetic variants in adrenergic and cholinergic receptors and transporters affect HRR. In our study 126 healthy subjects (66 Caucasians, 56 African Americans) performed an 8 min step-wise bicycle exercise test with continuous computerized ECG recordings. We fitted an exponential curve to the postexercise R-R intervals for each subject to calculate the recovery constant (kr) as primary outcome. Secondary outcome was the root mean square residuals averaged over 1 min (RMS1min), a marker of parasympathetic tone. We used multiple linear regressions to determine the effect of functional candidate genetic variants in autonomic pathways (6 ADRA2A, 1 ADRA2B, 4 ADRA2C, 2 ADRB1, 3 ADRB2, 2 NET, 2 CHT, and 1 GRK5) on the outcomes before and after adjustment for potential confounders. Recovery constant was lower (indicating slower HRR) in ADRA2B 301-303 deletion carriers (n = 54, P = 0.01), explaining 3.6% of the interindividual variability in HRR. ADRA2A Asn251Lys, ADRA2C rs13118771, and ADRB1 Ser49Gly genotypes were associated with RMS1min. Genetic variability in adrenergic receptors may be associated with HRR after exercise. However, most of the interindividual variability in HRR remained unexplained by the variants examined. Noncandidate gene-driven approaches to study genetic contributions to HRR in larger cohorts will be of interest.
Copyright © 2015 the American Physiological Society.
Butanol (C4H10OH) has been used both to dissect the molecular targets of alcohols/general anesthetics and to implicate phospholipase D (PLD) signaling in a variety of cellular functions including neurotransmitter and hormone exocytosis. Like other primary alcohols, 1-butanol is a substrate for PLD and thereby disrupts formation of the intracellular signaling lipid phosphatidic acid. Because secondary and tertiary butanols do not undergo this transphosphatidylation, they have been used as controls for 1-butanol to implicate PLD signaling. Recently, selective pharmacological inhibitors of PLD have been developed and, in some cases, fail to block cellular functions previously ascribed to PLD using primary alcohols. For example, exocytosis of insulin and degranulation of mast cells are blocked by primary alcohols, but not by the PLD inhibitor FIPI. In this study we show that 1-butanol reduces catecholamine secretion from adrenal chromaffin cells to a much greater extent than tert-butanol, and that the PLD inhibitor VU0155056 has no effect. Using fluorescent imaging we show the effect of these drugs on depolarization-evoked calcium entry parallel those on secretion. Patch-clamp electrophysiology confirmed the peak amplitude of voltage-gated calcium channel currents (I(Ca)) is inhibited by 1-butanol, with little or no block by secondary or tert-butanol. Detailed comparison shows for the first time that the different butanol isomers exert distinct, and sometimes opposing, effects on the voltage-dependence and gating kinetics of I(Ca). We discuss these data with regard to PLD signaling in cellular physiology and the molecular targets of general anesthetics.
OBJECTIVE - We performed a multicenter study of preterm infants, who were about to undergo patent ductus arteriosus ligation, to determine whether echocardiographic indices of impaired myocardial performance were associated with subsequent development of catecholamine-resistant hypotension following ligation.
STUDY DESIGN - A standardized treatment approach for hypotension was followed at each center. Infants were considered to have catecholamine-resistant hypotension if their dopamine infusion was > 15 μg kg(-1)min(-1). Echocardiograms and cortisol measurements were obtained between 6 and 14 h after the ligation (prior to the presence of catecholamine-resistant hypotension).
RESULT - Forty-five infants were enrolled, 10 received catecholamines (6 were catecholamine-responsive and 4 developed catecholamine-resistant hypotension). Catecholamine-resistant hypotension was not associated with decreased preload, shortening fraction or ventricular output. Infants with catecholamine-resistant hypotension had significantly lower levels of systemic vascular resistance and postoperative cortisol concentration.
CONCLUSION - We speculate that low cortisol levels and impaired vascular tone may have a more important role than impaired cardiac performance in post-ligation catecholamine-resistant hypotension.
Imaging mass spectrometry (IMS) studies increasingly focus on endogenous small molecular weight metabolites and consequently bring special analytical challenges. Since analytical tissue blanks do not exist for endogenous metabolites, careful consideration must be given to confirm molecular identity. Here, we present approaches for the improvement in detection of endogenous amine metabolites such as amino acids and neurotransmitters in tissues through chemical derivatization and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) IMS. Chemical derivatization with 4-hydroxy-3-methoxycinnamaldehyde (CA) was used to improve sensitivity and specificity. CA was applied to the tissue via MALDI sample targets precoated with a mixture of derivatization reagent and ferulic acid as a MALDI matrix. Spatial distributions of chemically derivatized endogenous metabolites in tissue were determined by high-mass resolution and MS(n) IMS. We highlight an analytical strategy for metabolite validation whereby tissue extracts are analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)-MS/MS to unambiguously identify metabolites and distinguish them from isobaric compounds.
Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
OBJECTIVE - To test the hypothesis that an impaired adrenal response to stress might play a role in the hypotension that follows patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) ligation.
STUDY DESIGN - We performed a multicenter study of infants born at <32 weeks' gestation who were about to undergo PDA ligation. Serum adrenal steroids were measured 3 times: before and after a cosyntropin (1.0 μg/kg) stimulation test (performed before the ligation), and at 10-12 hours after the ligation. A standardized approach for diagnosis and treatment of postoperative hypotension was followed at each site. A modified inotrope score (1 × dopamine [μg/kg/min] + 1 × dobutamine) was used to monitor the catecholamine support an infant received. Infants were considered to have catecholamine-resistant hypotension if their greatest inotrope score was >15.
RESULTS - Of 95 infants enrolled, 43 (45%) developed hypotension and 14 (15%) developed catecholamine-resistant hypotension. Low postoperative cortisol levels were not associated with the overall incidence of hypotension after ligation. However, low cortisol levels were associated with the refractoriness of the hypotension to catecholamine treatment. In a multivariate analysis: the OR for developing catecholamine-resistant hypotension was OR 36.6, 95% CI 2.8-476, P = .006. Low cortisol levels (in infants with catecholamine-resistant hypotension) were not attributable to adrenal immaturity or impairment; their cortisol precursor concentrations were either low or unchanged, and their response to cosyntropin was similar to infants without catecholamine-resistant hypotension.
CONCLUSION - Infants with low cortisol concentrations after PDA ligation are likely to develop postoperative catecholamine-resistant hypotension. We speculate that decreased adrenal stimulation, rather than an impaired adrenal response to stimulation, may account for the decreased production.
Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
BACKGROUND - The catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) enzyme has been widely studied due to its multiple roles in neurological functioning, estrogen biology, and methylation metabolic pathways. Numerous studies have investigated variation in the large COMT gene, with the majority focusing on single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). This body of work has linked COMT genetic variation with a vast array of conditions, including several neurobehavioral disorders, pain sensitivity, and multiple human cancers. Based on COMT's numerous biological roles and recent studies suggesting that methylation of the COMT gene impacts COMT gene expression, we comprehensively interrogated methylation in over 200 CpG dinucleotide sequences spanning the length of the COMT gene.
METHODS - Using saliva-derived DNA from a non-clinical sample of human subjects, we tested for associations between COMT CpG methylation and factors reported to interact with COMT genetic effects, including demographic factors and alcohol use. Finally, we tested associations between COMT CpG methylation state and COMT gene expression in breast cancer cell lines. We interrogated >200 CpGs in 13 amplicons spanning the 5' UTR to the last exon of the CpG dinucleotide-rich COMT gene in n = 48 subjects, n = 11 cell lines and 1 endogenous 18S rRNA control.
RESULTS - With the exception of the CpG island in the 5'UTR and 1st exon, all other CpG islands were strongly methylated with typical dynamic ranges between 50-90%. In the saliva samples, methylation of multiple COMT loci was associated with socioeconomic status or ethnicity. We found associations between methylation at numerous loci and genotype at the functional Val158Met SNP (rs4680), and most of the correlations between methylation and demographic and alcohol use factors were Val158Met allele-specific. Methylation at several of these loci also associated with COMT gene expression in breast cancer cell lines.
CONCLUSIONS - We report the first comprehensive interrogation of COMT methylation. We corroborate previous findings of variation in COMT methylation with gene expression and the Val158Met genotype, and also report novel associations with socioeconomic status (SES) and ethnicity at several methylated loci. These results point to novel mechanisms for COMT regulation, which may have broad therapeutic implications.
Release of neurotransmitters and hormones by calcium-regulated exocytosis is a fundamental cellular process that is disrupted in a variety of psychiatric, neurological, and endocrine disorders. As such, there is significant interest in targeting neurosecretion for drug and therapeutic development, efforts that will be aided by novel analytical tools and devices that provide mechanistic insight coupled with increased experimental throughput. Here, we report a simple, inexpensive, reusable, microfluidic device designed to analyze catecholamine secretion from small populations of adrenal chromaffin cells in real time, an important neuroendocrine component of the sympathetic nervous system and versatile neurosecretory model. The device is fabricated by replica molding of polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) using patterned photoresist on silicon wafer as the master. Microfluidic inlet channels lead to an array of U-shaped "cell traps", each capable of immobilizing single or small groups of chromaffin cells. The bottom of the device is a glass slide with patterned thin film platinum electrodes used for electrochemical detection of catecholamines in real time. We demonstrate reliable loading of the device with small populations of chromaffin cells, and perfusion/repetitive stimulation with physiologically relevant secretagogues (carbachol, PACAP, KCl) using the microfluidic network. Evoked catecholamine secretion was reproducible over multiple rounds of stimulation, and graded as expected to different concentrations of secretagogue or removal of extracellular calcium. Overall, we show this microfluidic device can be used to implement complex stimulation paradigms and analyze the amount and kinetics of catecholamine secretion from small populations of neuroendocrine cells in real time.
SCOPE - Ascorbic acid (ascorbate) is required to recycle tetrahydrobiopterin, which is necessary for neurotransmitter synthesis by the rate-limiting enzymes tyrosine and tryptophan hydroxylases. We sought to determine whether ascorbate might regulate embryonic brain cortex monoamine synthesis utilizing transgenic mouse models with varying intracellular ascorbate levels.
METHODS AND RESULTS - In embryos lacking the sodium-dependent vitamin C transporter 2 (SVCT2), very low levels of brain ascorbate decreased cortex levels of norepinephrine and dopamine by approximately 33%, but had no effect on cortex serotonin or its metabolite, 5-hydroxyindole acetic acid. This decrease in ascorbate also led to a decrease in protein levels of tyrosine hydroxylase, but not of tryptophan hydroxylase. Increased cortex ascorbate in embryos carrying extra copies of the SVCT2 resulted in increased levels of dopamine and its metabolite, 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC), as well as serotonin and 5-hydroxyindole acetic acid.
CONCLUSION - The dependence of embryonic brain cortex neurotransmitter synthesis and tyrosine hydroxylase expression on intracellular ascorbate emphasizes the importance of receiving adequate ascorbate during development.
© 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) is a common autonomic disorder of largely unknown etiology that presents with sustained tachycardia on standing, syncope and elevated norepinephrine spillover. Some individuals with POTS experience anxiety, depression and cognitive dysfunction. Previously, we identified a mutation, A457P, in the norepinephrine (NE; also known as noradrenaline) transporter (NET; encoded by SLC6A2) in POTS patients. NET is expressed at presynaptic sites in NE neurons and plays a crucial role in regulating NE signaling and homeostasis through NE reuptake into noradrenergic nerve terminals. Our in vitro studies demonstrate that A457P reduces both NET surface trafficking and NE transport and exerts a dominant-negative impact on wild-type NET proteins. Here we report the generation and characterization of NET A457P mice, demonstrating the ability of A457P to drive the POTS phenotype and behaviors that are consistent with reported comorbidities. Mice carrying one A457P allele (NET(+/P)) exhibited reduced brain and sympathetic NE transport levels compared with wild-type (NET(+/+)) mice, whereas transport activity in mice carrying two A457P alleles (NET(P/P)) was nearly abolished. NET(+/P) and NET(P/P) mice exhibited elevations in plasma and urine NE levels, reduced 3,4-dihydroxyphenylglycol (DHPG), and reduced DHPG:NE ratios, consistent with a decrease in sympathetic nerve terminal NE reuptake. Radiotelemetry in unanesthetized mice revealed tachycardia in NET(+/P) mice without a change in blood pressure or baroreceptor sensitivity, consistent with studies of human NET A457P carriers. NET(+/P) mice also demonstrated behavioral changes consistent with CNS NET dysfunction. Our findings support that NET dysfunction is sufficient to produce a POTS phenotype and introduces the first genetic model suitable for more detailed mechanistic studies of the disorder and its comorbidities.