Shunsuke Hyuga, Jennifer Danielsson, Joy Vink, Xiao Wen Fu, Ronald Wapner, George Gallos
Background: Pre-term birth is a major health care challenge throughout the world, and preterm labor represents a potentially reversible component of this problem. Current tocolytics do not improve preterm labor beyond 48 h. We have previously shown that anoctamin 1 (ANO1) channel blockade results in relaxation of pre-contracted human uterine smooth muscle (USM). Three drug classes with reported medicinal effects in humans also have members with ANO1 antagonism. In this study, we compared the ability of representatives from these 3 classes to reduce human USM contractility and excitability. Objective: This study sought to examine the comparative potency of 3 ANO1 antagonists on pregnant human USM relaxation, contraction frequency reduction, inhibition of intracellular calcium release and membrane hyperpolarization. Methods: Experiments were performed using: 1) Ex vivo organ bath (human pregnant tissue), 2) Oxytocin-induced calcium flux (in vitro human USM cells) and 3) Membrane potential assay (in vitro human USM cells). Results: Benzbromarone (BB) demonstrated the greatest potency among the compounds tested with respect to force, frequency inhibition, reducing calcium elevation and depolarizing membrane potential. Conclusion: While all 3 ANO1 antagonists attenuate pregnant human uterine tissue contractility and excitability, BB is the most potent tocolytic drug. Our findings may serve as a foundation for future structure-function analyses for novel tocolytic drug development.
Daisuke Chino, Tomoyo Sone, Kumi Yamazaki, Yuri Tsuruoka, Risa Yamagishi, Shunsuke Shiina, Keisuke Obara, Fumiko Yamaki, Koji Higai, Yoshio Tanaka
Object We aimed to identify the β-adrenoceptor (β-AR) subtypes involved in isoprenaline-induced relaxation of guinea pig colonic longitudinal smooth muscle using pharmacological and biochemical approaches. Methods Longitudinal smooth muscle was prepared from the male guinea pig ascending colon and contracted with histamine prior to comparing the relaxant responses to three catecholamines (isoprenaline, adrenaline, and noradrenaline). The inhibitory effects of subtype-selective β-AR antagonists on isoprenaline-induced relaxation were then investigated. Results The relaxant potencies of the catecholamines were ranked as: isoprenaline > noradrenaline ≈ adrenaline, whereas the rank order was isoprenaline > noradrenaline > adrenaline in the presence of propranolol (a non-selective β-AR antagonist; 3 × 10−7 M). Atenolol (a selective β1-AR antagonist; 3 × 10−7–10−6 M) acted as a competitive antagonist of isoprenaline-induced relaxation, and the pA2 value was calculated to be 6.49 (95% confidence interval: 6.34–6.83). The relaxation to isoprenaline was not affected by ICI-118,551 (a selective β2-AR antagonist) at 10−9–10−8 M, but was competitively antagonized by 10−7–3 × 10−7 M, with a pA2 value of 7.41 (95% confidence interval: 7.18–8.02). In the presence of propranolol (3 × 10−7 M), the relaxant effect of isoprenaline was competitively antagonized by bupranolol (a non-selective β-AR antagonist), with a pA2 value of 5.90 (95% confidence interval: 5.73–6.35). Conclusion These findings indicated that the β-AR subtypes involved in isoprenaline-induced relaxation of colonic longitudinal guinea pig muscles are β1-AR and β3-AR.
Object We identified the β-adrenoceptor (β-AR) subtypes responsible for the relaxant responses to adrenaline (AD) and noradrenaline (NA) in the rat thoracic aorta and examined the role of cAMP which is involved in these relaxant responses. Methods The effects of β-AR antagonists or the adenylyl cyclase inhibitor SQ 22,536 on AD- and NA-induced relaxant responses in phenylephrine-induced contraction and increases in cAMP levels were examined in isolated, endothelium-denuded rat thoracic aorta segments. Results AD-induced relaxation was completely suppressed by propranolol (10−7 M) or by ICI-118,551 (10−8 M) plus atenolol (10−6 M), and was also very strongly inhibited by ICI-118,551 (10−8 M) alone. AD (10−5 M) increased tissue cAMP levels by approximately 1.9-fold compared with that in non-stimulated aortic tissue, but did not significantly increase cAMP levels in the presence of ICI-118,551 (10−8 M) or SQ 22,536 (10−4 M). AD-induced relaxation was strongly suppressed by SQ 22,536 (10−4 M). NA-induced relaxation was almost completely suppressed by atenolol (10−6 M) plus ICI-118,551 (10−8 M) although it was hardly affected by ICI-118,551 (10−8 M) alone. NA (10−5 M) increased tissue cAMP levels by approximately 2.2-fold compared with that in non-stimulated aortic tissue, but did not significantly increase cAMP levels in the presence of atenolol (10−6 M) or SQ 22,536 (10−4 M). NA-induced relaxation was strongly suppressed by SQ 22,536 (10−4 M). Conclusion In rat thoracic aorta, AD- and NA-induced relaxations, which are both strongly dependent on increased tissue cAMP levels, are mainly mediated through β2- and β1-adrenoceptors respectively.
Ciliary muscle is a smooth muscle characterized by a rapid response to muscarinic receptor stimulation and sustained contraction. Although it is evident that these contractions are Ca2+-dependent, detailed molecular mechanisms are still unknown. In order to elucidate the role of Ser/Thr protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) in ciliary muscle contraction, we examined the effects of okadaic acid and other PP2A inhibitors on contractions induced by carbachol (CCh) and ionomycin in bovine ciliary muscle strips (BCM). Okadaic acid inhibited ionomycin-induced contraction, while it did not cause significant changes in CCh-induced contraction. Fostriecin showed similar inhibitory effects on the contraction of BCM. On the other hand, rubratoxin A inhibited both ionomycin- and CCh-induced contractions. These results indicated that PP2A was involved at least in ionomycin-induced Ca2+-dependent contraction, and that BCM had a unique regulatory mechanism in CCh-induced contraction.
Interstitial cells of Cajal (ICC) are mesenchymal cells that are distributed along the gastrointestinal tract and function as pacemaker cells or intermediary cells between nerves and smooth muscle cells. ICC express a receptor tyrosine kinase c-Kit, which is an established marker for ICC. The c-kit gene is allelic with the murine white-spotting locus (W), and some ICC subsets were reported to be missing in heterozygous mutant W/Wv mice carrying W and Wv mutated alleles. In this study, the characterization of interstitial cells in the subserosal layer of W/Wv mice was analyzed by immunohistochemistry and electron microscopy. In the proximal and distal colon of W/Wv mutant mice, no c-Kit-positive cells were detected in the subserosal layer by immunohistochemistry. By electron microscopy, the interstitial cells, which were characterized by the existence of caveolae, abundant mitochondria and gap junctions, were observed in the W/Wv mutant colon. The morphological characteristics were comparable to those of the multipolar c-Kit positive ICC seen in the subserosa of proximal and distal colon of wild-type mice. Fibroblasts were also located in the same layers, but the morphology of the fibroblasts was distinguishable from that of ICC in wild type mice or of ICC-like cells in W/Wv mutant mice. Collectively, it is concluded that c-Kit-negative interstitial cells showing a typical ICC ultrastructure exist in the proximal and distal colon of W/Wv mutant mice.
A hallmark of smooth muscle cells is their ability to adapt their functions to meet temporal and chronic fluctuations in their demands. These functions include force development and growth. Understanding the mechanisms underlying the functional plasticity of smooth muscles, the major constituent of organ walls, is fundamental to elucidating pathophysiological rationales of failures of organ functions. Also, the knowledge is expected to facilitate devising innovative strategies that more precisely monitor and normalize organ functions by targeting individual smooth muscles. Evidence has established a current paradigm that the myosin light chain phosphatase (MLCP) is a master regulator of smooth muscle responsiveness to stimuli. Cellular MLCP activity is negatively and positively regulated in response to G-protein activation and cAMP/cGMP production, respectively, through the MYPT1 regulatory subunit and an endogenous inhibitor protein named CPI-17. In this article we review the outcomes from two decade of research on the CPI-17 signaling and discuss emerging paradoxes in the view of signaling pathways regulating smooth muscle functions through MLCP.
The prostate is a gland whose secretions contribute to the seminal fluids ejaculated upon activation of autonomic sympathetic nerves. In elder males, the prostate undergoes an increase in stroma mass and myogenic tone, leading to benign prostatic hyperplasia that occludes the proximal urethra and the presentation of various lower urinary tract symptoms that decrease their quality of life. This review summarises the role of prostatic interstitial cells (PICs) in the generation of the spontaneous tone in the prostate. It presents current knowledge of the role of Ca2+ plays in PIC pacemaking, as well as the mechanisms by which this spontaneous activity triggers slow wave generation and stromal contraction. PICs display a small T-type Ca2+ current (ICaT) and a large L-type Ca2+ current (ICaL). In contrast to other interstitial cells in the urinary and gastrointestinal tracts, spontaneous Ca2+ signalling in PICs is uniquely dependent on Ca2+ influx through ICaL channels. A model of prostatic pacemaking is presented describing how ICaL can be triggered by an initial membrane depolarization evoked upon the selective opening of Ca2+-activated Cl– channels by Ca2+ flowing only through ICaT channels. The resulting current flow through ICaL results in release of Ca2+ from internal stores and the summation of Cl–-selective spontaneous transient depolarizations (STDs) to form pacemaker potentials that propagate passively into the prostatic stroma to evoke regenerative action potentials and excitation-contraction coupling.
The regulation of smooth muscle contraction and relaxation involves phosphorylation and dephosphorylation of regulatory proteins, particularly myosin. To elucidate the regulatory mechanisms, analyzing the phosphorylation signal transduction is crucial. Although a pharmacological approach with selective inhibitors is sensitive and a useful technique, it leads to speculation regarding a signaling pathway but does not provide direct evidence of changes at a molecular level. We developed a highly sensitive biochemical technique to analyze phosphorylation by adapting Phos-tag SDS-PAGE. With this technique, we successfully analyzed myosin light chain (LC20) phosphorylation in tiny renal afferent arterioles. In the rat afferent arterioles, endothelin-1 (ET-1) induced diphosphorylation of LC20 at Ser19 and Thr18 as well as monophosphorylation at Ser19 via ETB receptor activation. Considering that LC20 diphosphorylation can decrease the rate of dephosphorylation and thus relaxation, we concluded that LC20 diphosphorylation contributes, at least in part, to the prolonged contraction induced by ET-1 in the renal afferent arteriole.