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J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2002 Jul;302(1):249-56.

Hydrolysis of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor-stimulated cAMP and cGMP by PDE4 and PDE2 phosphodiesterases in primary neuronal cultures of rat cerebral cortex and hippocampus.

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Department of Pharmacology, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, 315 Crowe Building, 974 Union Avenue, Memphis, TN 38163, USA.


Stimulation of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors on neurons activates both cAMP and cGMP signaling pathways. Experiments were carried out to determine which phosphodiesterase (PDE) families are involved in the hydrolysis of the cyclic nucleotides formed via this mechanism, using primary neuronal cultures prepared from rat cerebral cortex and hippocampus. The nonselective PDE inhibitor 3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine (IBMX) potentiated the ability of NMDA to increase cAMP and cGMP. However, among the family-selective inhibitors, only the PDE4 inhibitor rolipram enhanced the ability of NMDA to increase cAMP in the neurons. In contrast, only the PDE2 inhibitor erythro-9-(2-hydroxy-3-nonyl) adenine (EHNA) enhanced the ability of NMDA to increase cGMP. Neither adenosine nor an adenosine deaminase inhibitor mimicked the effect of EHNA; this suggests that EHNA's inhibition of PDE2, not its effects on adenosine metabolism, mediates its effects on NMDA-stimulated cGMP concentrations. The PDE inhibitor-augmented effects of NMDA on cAMP and cGMP formation were antagonized by 5-methyl-10,11-dihydro-5H-dibenzo[a,d] cyclohepten-5,10-imine maleate (MK-801), verifying NMDA receptor mediation. In contrast, only NMDA-mediated cGMP formation was affected by altering either nitric oxide signaling or guanylyl cyclase; this suggests that NMDA-induced changes in cAMP are not secondary to altered cGMP concentrations. Overall, the present findings indicate that cAMP and cGMP formed in neurons as a result of NMDA receptor stimulation are hydrolyzed by PDE4 and PDE2, respectively. Selective inhibitors of the two PDE families will differentially affect the functional consequences of activation of these two signaling pathways by NMDA receptor stimulation.

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