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Neuroscience. 2009 Oct 6;163(2):524-32. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2009.06.050. Epub 2009 Jun 25.

Reduced expression and desensitization of adenosine A1 receptor/adenylyl cyclase pathway after chronic (-)N6-phenylisopropyladenosine intake during pregnancy.

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Departamento de Química Inorgánica, Orgánica y Bioquímica, Facultad de Químicas, Centro Regional de Investigaciones Biomédicas, Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, Avenida Camilo José Cela, 10, 13071 Ciudad Real, Spain.


Little is known about the G protein-coupled receptor desensitization process during pregnancy. Wistar pregnant rats were treated with (-)N(6)-phenylisopropyladenosine (R-PIA), an adenosine A(1) receptor (A(1)R) agonist, in their drinking water during pregnancy, and the effect on A(1)R/adenylyl cyclase system was studied in both maternal and fetal brain. In maternal brain, binding assays revealed a significant decrease in total receptor numbers in plasma membranes (27%, P<0.05), with no significant changes in receptor affinity. The effect of R-PIA on plasma membranes from fetal brains was more marked, with approximately 42% (P<0.05) of the total receptors detected in control fetuses. Real time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analyses showed that chronic R-PIA treatment during the whole gestational period only decreased significantly mRNA level coding A(1)R in maternal brain (P<0.05). alpha Gi(1,2) and alpha Gi(3) subunits were not affected in mothers or fetuses as revealed by immunoblotting. mRNA levels coding these subunits were also unaffected in mothers and fetuses. On the other hand, forskolin- and forskolin-plus guanosine-5'-O-(3-thiotriphosphate) (GTP gamma S)-stimulated adenylyl cyclase activity was decreased in maternal (P<.01) and fetal brain (P<.001). Furthermore, adenylyl cyclase inhibition elicited by N(6)-cyclohexyladenosine (CHA), a selective A(1)R agonist, was significantly decreased in both maternal (P<0.05) and fetal brain (P<.01), suggesting a desensitization of the A(1)R/adenylyl cyclase pathway. Therefore, these results suggest that R-PIA intake during pregnancy causes desensitization of the A(1)R-mediated inhibitory transduction pathway in both maternal and fetal brain, probably due to the decreased density of A(1)R at the cell surface.

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