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J Reprod Fertil. 1991 Nov;93(2):577-83.

Effect of melittin on prostaglandin production by guinea-pig uterus.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology, University of Edinburgh Medical School, UK.


Melittin, an activator of phospholipase (PL) A-2, increased the outputs of prostaglandin (PG) F-2 alpha and 6-keto-PGF-1 alpha, but not of PGE-2, from Day-7 guinea-pig uterus superfused in vitro. Reducing the extracellular calcium concentration (by omitting calcium chloride from the superfusing fluid) partially inhibited the stimulatory effect of melittin on uterine PG production. TMB-8 (an intracellular calcium antagonist) completely prevented the stimulation of PGF-2 alpha and 6-keto-PGF-1 alpha output by melittin, although the production of both PGs tended to increase after stopping the melittin and TMB-8 treatments. TMB-8 also inhibited the increases in outputs of PGF-2 alpha, 6-keto-PGF-1 alpha and PGE-2 and prevented contraction of the uterus induced by exogenous PLA-2. Trifluoperazine (a calmodulin antagonist) had no inhibitory effect on the increases in outputs of PGF-2 alpha and 6-keto-PGF-1 alpha produced by melittin; it potentiated the stimulatory effect of melittin on 6-keto-PGF-1 alpha output and allowed melittin to increase PGE-2 output. When melittin was applied twice to the superfused uterus with an interval of 1 h between each treatment, partial refractoriness of the responses to melittin was seen: the magnitudes of the increases in PGF-2 alpha and 6-keto-PGF-1 alpha outputs were 40-50% less after the second treatment than after the first treatment. These results show that melittin stimulates the synthesis of PGF-2 alpha and PGI-2 (measured as 6-keto-PGF-1 alpha) in guinea-pig uterus by mechanisms which are calcium dependent.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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