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A Scorziello, E Landolfi, M Grimaldi, O Meucci, C Ventra, A Avallone, A Postiglione, and G Schettini


We studied the effect of adenosine on prolactin secretion by the anterior pituitary, and the transduction mechanisms whereby the purine exerts its action. Adenosine inhibited prolactin release in basal and in vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP)- or TRH-stimulated conditions. Pertussis toxin pretreatment reduced the inhibition of VIP-stimulated prolactin secretion which was induced by adenosine, while it completely abolished the effect of the purine on TRH-evoked prolactin release. In membrane preparations of anterior pituitary cells, adenosine reduced the adenylate cyclase activity stimulated by VIP. Such an inhibition was not blocked by pertussis toxin pretreatment.

Furthermore, the purine reduced TRH-stimulated inositol phosphate production in cultured anterior pituitary cells, an effect that was reversed by pretreatment with pertussis toxin. In addition, the nucleoside did not significantly affect the TRH-induced rise in intracellular calcium.

In conclusion, our data show that adenosine inhibits prolactin secretion, acting on purinergic receptors coupled to the adenylate cyclase enzyme and phospholipase C. The effect of the nucleoside on adenylate cyclase seems to be achieved either by the involvement of an adenosine receptor coupled to the catalytic subunit of the enzyme via a pertussis toxin-sensitive G protein, or by the activation of a site directly coupled to the catalytic subunit of the adenylate cyclase (the P site). Its effect on phospholipase C seems to be mediated by a purinergic receptor coupled to the intracellular effector via a pertussis toxin-sensitive G protein.

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C Ventra, O Meucci, M Grimaldi, A Scorziello, A Porcellini, and G Schettini


We used the PCR amplification technique in an attempt to characterize further the dopamine D2L receptor expressed in the prolactin-secreting pituitary MMQ cell clone, derived from the prolactinand ACTH-secreting Buffalo rat 7315a pituitary tumour. By semiquantitative PCR amplification we were unable to detect the mRNA encoding the D2S receptor isoform, which derives from the wellknown process of alternative splicing, producing two D2 receptor subtypes (D2L and D2S) in such tissues as the anterior pituitary and the corpus striatum. Although the pharmacology of the D2 receptor has been established in many studies on both native receptors and transfected receptor isoforms, because of the lack of tissues naturally expressing only one receptor isoform, MMQ cells represent the first example of cells uniquely or prevalently expressing only the D2L receptor, conceivably coupled to its native transduction mechanisms. These considerations prompted us to evaluate the pharmacology and the second messenger systems known to be modulated by dopamine. Scatchard analysis of [3H]spiperone binding re-suited in a linear plot, consistent with the existence of a single class of binding sites, with a K d of 0·055±0·002 nm and a Bmax of 27±3·5 fmol/mg protein. Competition experiments confirmed the GTP-dependence and the order of potency for agonist and antagonist ligands consistent with binding to a D2 receptor. The inhibitory effects of dopamine on adenylyl cyclase activity, inositol phosphate production and intracellular free calcium concentrations, the latter presumably via the opening of K+ channels, and prolactin secretion, as well as the reversal of the effect by the D2-selective antagonist (−)sulpiride and pretreatment with pertussis toxin, are consistent with the known biological actions of dopamine at D2 receptors. Based on our observations, the MMQ cell line can be considered a useful tool for investigating ligand-receptor interactions to develop new selective dopaminergic D2L ligands for the therapy of dopamine-related disorders such as schizophrenia, depression, Parkinson's disease and drug addiction.