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PLoS One. 2012;7(11):e49954. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0049954. Epub 2012 Nov 19.

SKF83959, an agonist of phosphatidylinositol-linked D(1)-like receptors, promotes ERK1/2 activation and cell migration in cultured rat astrocytes.

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Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, Nantong University, Nantong, Jiangsu, People's Republic of China.


Extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) is a member of the mitogen-activated protein kinase family. It can mediate cell migration. Classical dopamine receptor-mediated ERK1/2 phosphorylation is widely studied in neurons. Here, we report that ERK1/2 phosphorylation is also modulated by putative phosphatidylinositol-linked D(1)-like receptors in cultured rat astrocytes. 6-chloro-7,8-dihydroxy-3-methyl-1-(3-methylphenyl)-2,3,4,5-tetrahydro-1H-3-benzazepine (SKF83959), an agonist of the putative phosphatidylinositol-linked D(1)-like receptors, was found to enhance ERK1/2 phosphorylation, which then promoted the migration of cultured astrocytes. The SKF83959-induced ERK1/2 phosphorylation was found to be Ca(2+)-independent based on the following observations: i. chelating intracellular Ca(2+) did not inhibit ERK1/2 phosphorylation and astrocyte migration; ii. blockage of the release of intracellular Ca(2+) from the endoplasmic reticulum by an inhibitor of inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP3) receptor did not attenuate ERK1/2 phosphorylation. However, inhibition of phospholipase C (PLC), the upstream molecule of internal Ca(2+) release, disabled SKF83959's ability to elevate the level of ERK1/2 phosphorylation. Both non-selective protein kinase C (PKC) inhibitor and PKCδ selective inhibitor prevented ERK1/2 phosphorylation increase and astrocyte migration, but PKCα inhibitor did not. This suggests that Ca(2+)-independent and diacylglycerol-dependent PKCδ acts downstream of putative phosphatidylinositol-linked D(1)-like receptor activation and mediates SKF83959-induced elevation of ERK1/2 phosphorylation in order to modulate astrocyte migration. In conclusion, our results demonstrate that SKF83959-induced increases in ERK1/2 phosphorylation and astrocyte migration are dependent on PLC-PKCδ signals. This might help us to further understand the functions of the putative phosphatidylinositol-linked D(1)-like receptors in the nervous system.

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