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Endocrine. 1997 Jun;6(3):317-24.

The effect of tumor necrosis factor-alpha and cAMP on induction of AP-1 activity in MA-10 tumor Leydig cells.

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Department of Physiology & Biophysics, University of Illinois at Chicago 60612-7342, USA.


The immunostimulant tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF alpha), produced by monocytes/macrophages in response to inflammatory disorders, regulates gene expression in part through induction of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs), including the stress-activated protein kinase (SAPK) (c-Jun N-terminal kinase [JNK]) and the extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERKs). In testicular Leydig cells, the induction of steroidogenesis by cAMP is inhibited by TNF alpha. To examine the potential mechanisms governing the mutual inhibition between cAMP and TNF alpha in Leydig cells, the intracellular signaling pathways that contribute to AP-1-dependent gene expression were examined in the mouse MA-10 Leydig cell line. TNF alpha induced SAPK activity sixfold at 15 min, and the PKC inhibitor calphostin C reduced the induction of SAPK by 30%. cAMP induced SAPK activity twofold but reduced TNF alpha-induced SAPK activity. ERK activity was inhibited by both cAMP and TNFa. TNFa increased c-Jun protein, but only weakly induced FOS proteins (c-Fos, FosB, Fra-1, and Fra-2) whereas cAMP increased the abundance of several FOS proteins (c-Fos, FosB, Fra-1, and Fra-2), with little effect on c-Jun levels. AP-1 binding activity, assessed using electrophoretic mobility shift assays, was increased twofold by TNF alpha and fivefold by cAMP. Cyclic AMP alone induced AP-1-responsive reporter (p3TPLUX) activity threefold after 2 h with peak effect of 4-fold at 4 hr. AP-1 reporter was not induced by TNF alpha alone but in the presence of cAMP, TNF alpha induced AP-1 reporter activity 12-fold. In conclusion, TNF alpha and cAMP induce distinct components that separately contribute to the modulation of AP-1 activity in MA-10 cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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