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Endocrinology. 1997 Oct;138(10):4109-22.

The human V3 pituitary vasopressin receptor: ligand binding profile and density-dependent signaling pathways.

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Department of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and University Hospitals of Cleveland, Ohio 44106-4951, USA.


The vasopressin (AVP) V3 pituitary receptor (V3R) is a G protein-coupled corticotropic phenotypic marker that is overexpressed in ACTH-hypersecreting tumors. Studies of the agonist/antagonist binding profile and signal transduction pathways linked to the human V3R have been limited because of the scarcity of this protein. To define the signals activated by V3Rs and the eventual changes triggered by developmental or pathological receptor regulation, we developed Chinese hamster ovary (CHO)-V3 cells stably expressing low, medium, or high levels of human V3Rs (binding capacity, <10, 10-25, and 25-100 pmol/mg, respectively). The affinity of the V3R for 21 peptide and nonpeptide AVP analogs was clearly distinct from that exhibited by the human V1R and V2R. AVP triggered stimulation of phospholipase C in CHO-V3 cells (partially sensitive to treatment with pertussis toxin) with a potency directly proportional to receptor density. V3R-mediated arachidonic acid release also was also sensitive to pertussis toxin and more efficacious in cells exhibiting medium than in those with high receptor density. AVP also stimulated the pertussis toxin-insensitive uptake of [3H]thymidine in CHO-V3 cells. The concentration-response curves for this effect were monophasic in cells expressing low and medium levels of V3Rs; on the contrary, a biphasic curve was observed in cells with high V3R density. Coupling of V3R to increased production of cAMP was only observed in CHOV3 high cells, suggesting a negative relationship between increased cAMP production and DNA synthesis. Activation of mitogen-activated protein kinases by V3R was pertussis toxin insensitive, but was dependent on activation of phospholipase C and protein kinase C; both the level and duration of activation were a function of the receptor density. Thus, the human V3R has a pharmacological profile clearly distinct from that of the human V1R and V2R and activates several signaling pathways via different G proteins, depending on the level of receptor expression. The increased synthesis of DNA and cAMP levels observed in cells expressing medium and high levels of V3Rs, respectively, may represent important events in the tumorigenesis of corticotroph cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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