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FEBS Lett. 1991 Oct 21;291(2):238-44.

Dexamethasone induces the expression of the mRNA of lipocortin 1 and 2 and the release of lipocortin 1 and 5 in differentiated, but not undifferentiated U-937 cells.

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Department of Pharmacology, Sclavo Research Centre, Siena, Italy.


The effect of dexamethasone on mRNA and protein synthesis of lipocortins (LCT) 1, 2 and 5 has been investigated in U-937 cells. A constitutive expression of both mRNAs and proteins was detected in undifferentiated U-937 cells. This constitutive level was increased time- and dose-dependently by incubation with phorbol myristate acetate (PMA). In U-937 cells differentiated by 24 h incubation with 6 ng/ml PMA, dexamethasone (DEX) (1 microM for 16 h) caused an increased synthesis of the mRNA level of LCT-1 and 2, but not of LCT-5, over the level induced by PMA. DEX had no effect in undifferentiated cells. Moreover, DEX stimulated the extracellular release of LCT-1 and 5, but not of LCT-2, and inhibited the release of PGE2 and TXB2 only in the differentiated U-937 cells. These results suggest that the responsiveness of these cells to glucocorticoids is dependent on the phase of cell differentiation. The selective release of lipocortins by differentiated U-937 cells may explain, at least in part, the inhibition by DEX of the prostanoid release.

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