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  • Cholinergic regulation of protein phosphorylation in bovine adrenal chromaffin cells.

    23 July 2018

    Chromaffin cells were isolated from bovine adrenal medullae and maintained in primary culture. After prelabeling with 32PO4, exposure of the chromaffin cells to acetylcholine increased the phosphorylation of a Mr approximately equal to 100,000 protein and a Mr approximately equal to 60,000 protein (tyrosine hydroxylase), visualized after separation of total cellular proteins in naDodSO4/polyacrylamide gels. Immunoprecipitation with antibodies to three known phosphoproteins ("100-kDa," "87-kDa," and protein III) revealed an acetylcholine-dependent phosphorylation of these proteins. These three proteins were also shown to be present in bovine adrenal chromaffin cells by immunolabeling techniques. "100-kDa" is a Mr approximately equal to 100,000 protein selectively phosphorylated by calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase III, "87-kDa" is a Mr approximately equal to 87,000 protein selectively phosphorylated by protein kinase C, and protein III is a phosphoprotein doublet of Mr approximately equal to 74,000 (IIIa) and Mr approximately equal to 55,000 (IIIb) phosphorylated by cAMP-dependent protein kinase and calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase I. Furthermore, 100-kDa was shown to be identical to the Mr approximately equal to 100,000 protein whose phosphorylation was increased by acetylcholine treatment. The acetylcholine-dependent increase in phosphorylation of tyrosine hydroxylase, 100-kDa, 87-kDa, and protein III required extracellular calcium and was mimicked by nicotine, veratridine, elevated K+, and calcium ionophore A23187, but not by muscarine. In addition, forskolin increased the phosphorylation of tyrosine hydroxylase, 100-kDa, and protein III, but not that of 87-kDa. Phorbol 12,13-dibutyrate increased the phosphorylation of tyrosine hydroxylase, 87-kDa, and protein III, but not that of 100-kDa. The data demonstrate that cholinergic activation of chromaffin cells increases the phosphorylation of several proteins and that several protein kinase systems may be involved in these effects.

  • Similarities between protein IIIa and protein IIIb, two prominent synaptic vesicle-associated phosphoproteins.

    23 July 2018

    Protein IIIa (Mr 74,000) and protein IIIb (Mr 55,000) are 2 major phosphoproteins found in mammalian brain. It was previously shown in intact nerve cells that the phosphorylation state of these 2 proteins could be increased by electrical stimulation, by depolarizing agents in the presence of calcium, and by 8-bromo-cAMP. We now report that protein IIIa and protein IIIb possess significant structural homology, as indicated by immunochemical studies using polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies and by peptide-mapping studies. A quantitative radioimmunoassay using immunolabeling in SDS-polyacrylamide gels has been used to study the tissue distribution and regional and subcellular distribution in the brain of the 2 proteins. The 2 proteins were found only in nervous tissue and the adrenal medulla. Subcellular fractionation studies suggested that both proteins are associated with synaptic vesicles.

  • Protein kinase C activation induces tyrosine phosphorylation of the NR2A and NR2B subunits of the NMDA receptor.

    23 July 2018

    The N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) is an ionotropic glutamate receptor, which plays crucial roles in synaptic plasticity and development. We have recently shown that potentiation of NMDA receptor function by protein kinase C (PKC) appears to be mediated via activation of non-receptor tyrosine kinases. The aim of this study was to test whether this effect could be mediated by direct tyrosine phosphorylation of the NR2A or NR2B subunits of the receptor. Following treatment of rat hippocampal CA1 mini-slices with 500 nM phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA) for 15 min, samples were homogenized, immunoprecipitated with anti-NR2A or NR2B antibodies and the resulting pellets subjected to Western blotting with antiphosphotyrosine antibody. An increase in tyrosine phosphorylation of both NR2A (76 +/- 11% above control) and NR2B (41 +/- 11%) was observed. This increase was blocked by pretreatment with the selective PKC inhibitor chelerythrine, with the tyrosine kinase inhibitor Lavendustin A or with the Src family tyrosine kinase inhibitor PP2. PMA treatment also produced an increase in the phosphorylation of serine 890 on the NR1 subunit, a known PKC site, at 5 min with phosphorylation returning to near basal levels by 10 min while tyrosine phosphorylation of NR2A and NR2B was sustained for up to 15 min. These results suggest that the modulation of NMDA receptor function seen with PKC activation may be the result of tyrosine phosphorylation of NR2A and/or NR2B.

  • Synapsin II phosphorylation and catecholamine release in bovine adrenal chromaffin cells: additive effects of histamine and nicotine.

    23 July 2018

    Primary cultures of bovine adrenal medullary chromaffin cells can be stimulated with nicotine, which mimics the cholinergic stimulus from the splanchnic nerve. Histamine also stimulates catecholamine release in a time- and dose-dependent manner. We have previously shown that nicotine stimulates incorporation of 32Pi into the vesicle-associated phosphoprotein synapsin II. We report here that histamine, too, stimulates an increase in 32Pi incorporation into synapsin II, which is blocked by the H1-histamine receptor-specific antagonist pyrilamine. The time course of histamine-stimulated synapsin II phosphorylation closely paralleled that of histamine-stimulated catecholamine release. Interestingly, histamine and nicotine produced an additive increase in both catecholamine release and synapsin II phosphorylation, suggesting that these two secretogogues stimulate the phenomena via independent mechanisms. When we investigated the dependence of these two agonists on extracellular calcium, we found that nicotine-stimulated release and synapsin II phosphorylation were reduced to basal levels at low calcium concentrations. However, the histamine-stimulated effects remained significantly elevated. This suggests that calcium arising from two separate pools can stimulate catecholamine release and synapsin II phosphorylation in bovine chromaffin cells. Taken together, these data support the hypothesis that synapsin II phosphorylation is a component of the secretory response from these cells.

  • Protein kinase C and cAMP-dependent protein kinase phosphorylate the beta subunit of the purified gamma-aminobutyric acid A receptor.

    23 July 2018

    A number of recent studies have suggested that phosphorylation of the gamma-aminobutyric acid A (GABAA) receptor could modulate receptor function. Activators of protein kinase C and cAMP-dependent protein kinase have been shown to influence GABAA receptor function. In addition, Sweetnam et al. [Sweetnam, P. M., Lloyd, J., Gallombardo, P., Malison, R. T., Gallager, D. W., Tallman, J. F. & Nestler, E. J. (1988) J. Neurochem. 51, 1274-1284] have reported that a kinase associated with a partially purified preparation of the receptor could phosphorylate the alpha subunit of the receptor. Moreover, Kirkness et al. [Kirkness, E. F., Bovenkerk, C. F., Ueda, T. & Turner, A. J. (1989) Biochem. J. 259, 613-616] have recently shown that cAMP-dependent protein kinase could phosphorylate a muscimol binding polypeptide of the GABAA receptor. To explore the issue further, we have examined the ability of specific kinases to catalyze significant phosphorylation of the GABAA receptor that has been purified to near homogeneity. The GABAA receptor was purified as previously described using benzodiazepine affinity chromatography. The purified receptor possessed no detectable kinase activity. Protein kinase C and cAMP-dependent protein kinase catalyzed the phosphorylation of the beta and alpha subunits of the receptor. However, most of the phosphate incorporation was associated with the beta subunit. Two muscimol binding polypeptides designated beta 58 (Mr 58,000) and beta 56 (Mr 56,000) were present in the preparation. The higher molecular weight polypeptide, beta 58, was phosphorylated specifically by cAMP-dependent protein kinase. beta 56 was phosphorylated specifically by protein kinase C. beta 58 and beta 56 gave distinct patterns in a one-dimensional phosphopeptide analysis. The stoichiometry of phosphorylation (mol of phosphate/mol of muscimol binding) catalyzed by cAMP-dependent protein kinase was 0.52 and that catalyzed by protein kinase C was 0.38. Taken together these data confirm that there are two forms of the beta subunit of the GABAA receptor and suggest that these two forms of the beta subunit are phosphorylated by distinct kinases.

  • LTP leads to rapid surface expression of NMDA but not AMPA receptors in adult rat CA1.

    23 July 2018

    In the CA1 region of the rat hippocampus, long-term potentiation (LTP) requires the activation of NMDA receptors (NMDARs) and leads to an enhancement of AMPA receptor (AMPAR) function. In neonatal hippocampus, this increase in synaptic strength seems to be mediated by delivery of AMPARs to the synapse. Here we studied changes in surface expression of native AMPA and NMDA receptors following induction of LTP in the adult rat brain. In contrast to early postnatal rats, we find that LTP in the adult rat does not alter membrane association of AMPARs. Instead, LTP leads to rapid surface expression of NMDARs in a PKC- and Src-family-dependent manner. The present study suggests a developmental shift in the LTP-dependent trafficking of AMPA receptors. Moreover, our results indicate that insertion of NMDA receptors may be a key step in regulating synaptic plasticity.

  • Deficits in the expression of the NR2B subunit in the hippocampus of aged Fisher 344 rats.

    23 July 2018

    The NMDA receptor (NMDAR) has been implicated in the induction of LTP at hippocampal synapses, and has been proposed to play a significant role in the involvement of the hippocampus with learning and memory. Aged rats are known to have deficits in LTP, learning and memory. We tested the hypothesis that aged rats might have deficits in expression of NMDAR subunits. Aged rats have significantly lower levels of NR2B mRNA and protein compared to young animals. This complements a recent report which showed improved learning and memory in mice which overexpress NR2B. No changes were seen in either the mRNA or the protein levels of the NMDAR subunit NR2A, nor in the alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole proprionate receptor (AMPAR) subunit GluR2. Our data support the hypothesis that age related alterations in the expression of the NMDAR NR2B subunit might underlie deficits in LTP and learning and memory in aged animals.

  • Synapsin I in intraocular hippocampal transplants during maturation and aging: effects of brainstem cografts.

    23 July 2018

    The role of target innervation for maintenance of synaptic proteins in the hippocampal formation during aging was investigated. Fetal CA1 tissue and brainstem tissue containing the nucleus locus coeruleus was dissected from albino rats and grafted sequentially into the anterior chamber of the eye of adult rat recipients. Synapsin protein distribution and levels were evaluated by immunohistochemistry and quantitative immunolabeling in single hippocampal grafts or brainstem-hippocampal double grafts at 6, 12, or 24 mo postgrafting. The synapsin levels in 6-mo-old single hippocampal transplants were significantly lower than those in situ, and remained at these lower levels at 12 and 24 mo. On the contrary, synapsin levels were close to normal in the hippocampal portion of double grafts in the 6- and the 12-mo-group. However, in the 24-mo-old double transplants the levels had declined significantly, approaching levels seen in single hippocampal grafts. The immunoblot results were supported by morphological observations with synapsin antibodies and immunohistochemistry. The present data demonstrate that hippocampal tissue maintained near normal synapsin levels when grafted together with brainstem tissue, as compared to the lower levels seen in single hippocampal grafts. This normalization of synapsin levels was, however, not seen in the aged hippocampal-brainstem double grafts.

  • Differential distribution of the synapsins in the rat olfactory bulb.

    23 July 2018

    The distribution of the different forms of synapsin in the rat olfactory bulb was investigated by biochemical and immunocytochemical methods. Western blots of tissue derived from microdissection of the surface and core regions of the olfactory bulb were performed using antibodies to synapsin I and synapsin II. The relative levels of the synapsins in the core region of the olfactory bulb were similar to the cerebral cortex. In contrast, the surface region of the olfactory bulb had significantly higher levels of synapsin IIa and significantly lower levels of synapsin I, relative to the cortex. Immunocytochemical localization of synapsin I and synapsin II revealed that synapsin I immunoreactivity was the most dense in the external plexiform layer and in the glomeruli; immunoreactivity was also present in the granule cell layer and the periglomerular regions. Synapsin II immunoreactivity was the most dense in the glomeruli. The external plexiform layer, internal plexiform layer, and granule cell layer exhibited much lower immunoreactivity. To determine the source of synapsin II immunoreactivity in the glomeruli, the olfactory epithelium was damaged to decrease the primary afferent input to the bulb. Three to four days later, olfactory bulb sections were double labeled with anti-olfactory marker protein (OMP) antibodies and anti-synapsin II antibodies. Following denervation, both OMP and synapsin II immunoreactivities were diminished, and continued to colocalize in regions retaining immunoreactivity. Individual puncta were immunoreactive for both OMP and synapsin II. Occasional puncta contained only synapsin II immunoreactivity. These results indicate that the distribution of the synapsins in the olfactory bulb differs from most other brain regions.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  • Whitehall Imaging Oxford

    1 November 2012

    We are proud to announce that we have now imaged 800 participants (about 12% of the Whitehall II sample) and have achieved our target on time (ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT03335696). Data collected during this study will be analysed by researchers at the University of Oxford in collaboration with Whitehall II study researchers at University College London over the next couple years, before becoming available (in an anonymised form) to other researchers. Results will be published over the following years. Participants will receive updates of the most recent findings with the Whitehall II newsletter between the clinic appointments. You can also read more about the study and its findings on this site.

  • Improving lifelong cognitive health through physical exercise and cognitive stimulation

    1 November 2012

    The human brain has a remarkable capacity to learn and adapt. This ability is strongly influenced by many factors, including how active we are - both physically and mentally.

  • Oxford Parkinson's Disease Centre

    1 November 2012

    The Oxford Parkinson's Disease Centre (OPDC) is a grouping of scientists and clinicians launched in February 2010 following the award of the Monument Trust Discovery Award to Oxford University

  • Oxford Dementia and Ageing Research

    1 November 2012

    Oxford Dementia and Ageing Research is a consortium of clinical and basic scientists who work on various aspects of translational dementia and ageing research

  • We are available for media comment

    1 November 2012

    Please use the content details at the top of this page to get in touch

  • Important Links

    1 November 2012

  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI) as a substantial cause of disability (Seena Fazel)

    16 June 2013

    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a substantial cause of disability with high societal costs worldwide. In the US, where surveillance started in 1989, 3.2 million persons or 1% of the population have sustained a TBI in their lifetime. Similarly large numbers have been reported in European countries. The public health burden may increase in the next few decades, as road traffic accidents, a leading cause of TBI and currently the ninth largest contributor to disability-adjusted living years globally, are estimated to become the third largest contributor by 2030 with a particularly large rise in middle income countries. One high risk group are prisoners, where high rates of TBI have been reported, including in juvenile prisons, and where little is known about this TBI contributes to adverse outcomes following release.