Involvement of ET(A) and ET(B) receptors in the activation of phospholipase D by endothelins in cultured rat cortical astrocytes

Joan Marc Servitja, Roser Masgrau, Elisabet Sarri, Fernando Picatoste

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20 Citations (Scopus)


1. This study was performed to characterize the receptor subtypes involved in the endothelin stimulation of phospholipase D (PLD) in rat cortical astrocytes in primary culture. PLD activity was determined by measuring the formation of [32P]phosphatidylbutanol in [32P]orthophosphate prelabelled cells stimulated in the presence of 25 mM butanol. 2. The agonists endothelin-1 (ET-1), endothelin-3 (ET-3), sarafotoxin 6c (S6c) and IRL 1620 elicited PLD activation in a concentration-dependent manner. The potencies of ET-1, ET-3 and S6c were similar. The maximal effects evoked by the ET(B)-preferring agonists, ET-3, S6c and IRL 1620, were significantly lower than the maximal response to the non-selective agonist ET-1. 3. The response to 1 nM ET-1 was inhibited by increasing concentrations of the ETA receptor antagonist BQ-123 in a biphasic manner. A high potency component of the inhibition curve (24.2 ± 3.5% of the ET-1 response) was defined at low (up to 1 μM) concentrations of BQ-123, yielding an estimated K(i) value for BQ-123 of 21.3 ± 2.5 nM. In addition, the presence of 1 μM BQ-123 significantly reduced the maximal response to ET-1 but did not change the pD2 value. 4. Increasing concentrations of the ET(B) selective antagonist BQ-788 inhibited the S6c response with a K(i) of 17.8 ± 0.8 nM. BQ-788 also inhibited the effect of ET-1, although, in this case, two components were defined, accounting for approximately 50% of the response, and showing K(i) values of 20.9 ± 5.1 nM and 439 ± 110 nM, respectively. The ET-1 concentration-response curve was shifted to the right by 1 μM BQ-788, also revealing two components. Only one of them, corresponding to 69.8 ± 4.4% of the response, was sensitive to BQ-788 which showed a K(i) value of 28.8 ± 8.9 nM. 5. Rapid desensitization was achieved by preincubation with ET-1 or S6c. In cells pretreated with S6c neither ET-3 nor S6c activated PLD, but ET-1 still induced approximately 40% of the response shown by non-desensitised cells. This remaining response was insensitive to BQ-788, but fully inhibited by BQ-123. 6. In conclusion, endothelins activate PLD in rat cortical astrocytes acting through both ET(A) and ET(B) receptors, and this response desensitizes rapidly in an apparently homologous fashion. The percentage contribution of ET(A) and ET(B) receptors to the ET-1 response was found to be approximately 20% and 80%, respectively, when ET(B) receptors were not blocked, and 30-50% and 50-70%, respectively, when ET(B) receptors were inhibited or desensitized. These results may be relevant to the study of a possible role of PLD in the proliferative effects shown by endothelins on cultured and reactive astrocytes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1728-1734
JournalBritish Journal of Pharmacology
Publication statusPublished - 26 Aug 1998


  • Astrocytes
  • ET(A) receptor
  • ET(B) receptor
  • Endothelin
  • Phospholipase D


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