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I M Adcock, M Peters, C Gelder, H Shirasaki, C R Brown, and P J Barnes

ABSTRACT

Substance P has several inflammatory effects on the airways mediated via neurokinin 1 receptors (NK1Rs) and, if released from sensory nerves, may amplify the chronic inflammation seen in asthma. Northern blot analysis of NK1R mRNA in lung showed a 52 ± 10% (s.e.m.; P<0·01) increase in mRNA in the asthmatic lung compared with non-asthmatic control tissue. NK1R mRNA was reduced by 84·5 ± 1·9% after incubation with dexamethasone (1 μm) for 3 h (P<0·01). In contrast, NK2R mRNA was unaltered in asthmatic lungs and dexamethasone treatment had no effect on the level of NK2R mRNA. These results suggest that chronic inflammation in asthma may result in increased NK1R gene expression and that this effect is reversed by glucocorticosteroids.

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P.R.M. Dobson, C.P. Plested, D.R. Jones, T. Barks, and B.L. Brown

ABSTRACT

The mechanism of action of the cytokine, interleukin-l (IL-1), has been investigated. Mouse thymoma (EL4 6.1) cells were preincubated with [3H]-glycerol and then incubated with recombinant IL-1β for varying periods. Interleukin-1 caused a rapid increase in diacylglycerol production (approx. 2 fold at 30 sees). This reproducible enhancement of diacylglycerol accumulation was abolished by pretreatment of the cells with pertussis toxin. Interestingly, a similar IL-1 induced increase in diacylglycerol was observed when the cells were preincubated with [3H]-myristic acid. These results appear to suggest a novel mode of action of interleukin-1 which involves a G-protein mediated breakdown of a membrane lipid resulting in the production of diacylglycerol. It is suggested that one possible candidate for this parent lipid may be a phosphatidylinositol glycan.

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J. M. Lord, C. M. Bunce, R. J. Duncan, I. D. Phillips, K. I. J. Shennan, K. Docherty, and G. Brown

ABSTRACT

HL60 is a human promyeloid cell line capable of differentiating towards monocytes or granulocytes when treated with appropriate agents. Changes in insulin receptor number, affinity and mRNA levels were observed when HL60 cells were induced to differentiate with 12-O-tetradecanoyl-phorbol-13-acetate (TPA) or dimethylsulphoxide (DMSO). Total and high-affinity insulin receptor numbers decreased following treatment of HL60 cells with DMSO, whereas total insulin receptor number increased and high-affinity receptor number decreased in cells treated with TPA. Three distinct insulin receptor mRNA species of 9·1, 6·3 and 2·8 kb were identified in HL60 cells. The larger 9·1 and 6·3 kb species were increased in both TPA- and DMSO-treated HL60 cells, and the 2·8 kb mRNA was reduced in differentiated cells. Thus HL60 cells differentiated towards monocytes or granulocytes showed similar changes in the levels of individual insulin receptor mRNAs, but displayed contrasting alterations in low-affinity insulin binding. Three HL60 variant lines, which have different capacities to respond to inducers of monocyte and neutrophil differentiation, showed similar levels of total insulin receptors, but differed in their expression of high-affinity receptors. The data provide evidence for the existence of two distinct insulin receptors.