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Neurosci Res. 2011 Jan;69(1):8-16. doi: 10.1016/j.neures.2010.09.009. Epub 2010 Nov 13.

PACAP up-regulates the expression of apolipoprotein D in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. DRG/3T3-L1 co-cultures study.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine III, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany. Joanna.Kosacka@medizin.uni-leipzig.de


The existence of a cross-talk between nerves and fatty tissue is increasingly recognized. Using co-cultures of dorsal root ganglion (DRG)-derived cells and 3T3-L1 adipocytes, we have previously shown that the presence of fat cells enhances neurite outgrowth and number of synapses. Vice versa, neural cells induced expression of neurotrophic adipokines apolipoprotein D and E (ApoD, ApoE) and angiopoietin-1 (Ang-1) by adipocytes. Here, we tested whether pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating peptide (PACAP), which is released by sensory fibres and causes Ca(2+) influx into fat cells, is involved in ApoD induction. Using 3T3-L1 cell cultures, we found that PACAP at a dose of 1 nM up-regulated the expression of ApoD protein and mRNA approx. 2.5 fold. This effect was driven by ERK1/2 acting upon PAC1/VPAC2 receptors. In turn, PACAP-treated 3T3-L1 adipocytes in co-cultures with DRG cells enhanced neurite ramification of neurofilament 200 (NF200)-positive neurons (measured using fluorescence microscopy) and neurofilament 68 protein levels (measured using Western blot analysis). This effect could be blocked using the PAC1/VPAC2 antagonist PACAP(6-38). Scanning cytometry revealed PACAP/ApoD induced low density lipoprotein receptors (LDLR) and ApoE receptor 2 (apoER2) in NF200-positive cells. Thus, a bidirectional loop seems to exist regulating the innervation of fatty tissues: PACAP released from sensory fibres might stimulate fat cells to synthesize neurotrophic adipokines, which, in turn, support peripheral innervation.

Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd and the Japan Neuroscience Society. All rights reserved.

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