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Am J Physiol. 1999 Jul;277(1 Pt 1):L119-26.

Control of cAMP in lung endothelial cell phenotypes. Implications for control of barrier function.

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Department of Pharmacology, The University of South Alabama College of Medicine, Mobile, Alabama 36688, USA.


Pulmonary microvascular endothelial cells (PMVECs) form a more restrictive barrier to macromolecular flux than pulmonary arterial endothelial cells (PAECs); however, the mechanisms responsible for this intrinsic feature of PMVECs are unknown. Because cAMP improves endothelial barrier function, we hypothesized that differences in enzyme regulation of cAMP synthesis and/or degradation uniquely establish an elevated content in PMVECs. PMVECs possessed 20% higher basal cAMP concentrations than did PAECs; however, increased content was accompanied by 93% lower ATP-to-cAMP conversion rates. In PMVECs, responsiveness to beta-adrenergic agonist (isoproterenol) or direct adenylyl cyclase (forskolin) activation was attenuated and responsiveness to phosphodiesterase inhibition (rolipram) was increased compared with those in PAECs. Although both types of endothelial cells express calcium-inhibited adenylyl cyclase, constitutive PMVEC cAMP accumulation was not inhibited by physiological rises in cytosolic calcium, whereas PAEC cAMP accumulation was inhibited 30% by calcium. Increasing either PMVEC calcium entry by maximal activation of store-operated calcium entry or ATP-to-cAMP conversion with rolipram unmasked calcium inhibition of adenylyl cyclase. These data indicate that suppressed calcium entry and low ATP-to-cAMP conversion intrinsically influence calcium sensitivity. Adenylyl cyclase-to-cAMP phosphodiesterase ratios regulate cAMP at elevated levels compared with PAECs, which likely contribute to enhanced microvascular barrier function.

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