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Brain Res Mol Brain Res. 1998 Oct 1;60(2):203-14.

Prostaglandin E2 increases proenkephalin mRNA level in rat astrocyte-enriched culture.

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Department of Pharmacology and Institute of Natural Medicine, College of Medicine, Hallym University, 1 Okchun-Dong, Chunchon, Kangwon-Do 200-702, South Korea.


The effect of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) on proenkephalin (proENK) mRNA expression in primary cultured rat astrocytes was studied. The proENK mRNA level was significantly increased about 3.3-fold 4 h after PGE2 (10 microM) treatment and this increase was potentiated by the pre-treatment with cycloheximide (CHX; 15 microM) about 1.7-fold as much as PGE2 alone treated cells. The pretreatment with staurosporine (1 microM) completely inhibited the increase of PGE2-induced proENK mRNA level, although only a partial inhibition of PGE2-induced proENK mRNA level (approximately 1.5-fold) by H89 (10 microM) was observed. The increase of PGE2-induced proENK mRNA level was not affected by the pretreatment with PD98059 (1, 5, and 10 microM), omega-conotoxin GIVA (1 microM), nimodipine (1 microM), calmidazolium (1 microM), or KN-62 (1 microM). In addition to the proENK mRNA level, PGE2 also increased c-Fos (approximately 4.3-fold), Fra-1 ( approximately 3.8 fold), and Fra-2 (approximately 8.2-fold) protein levels at 4 h after drug treatment. However, c-Jun, JunB, and JunD protein levels were not affected by PGE2. Indeed, PGE2 failed to up-regulate c-jun mRNA expression as well as its protein product. Surprisingly, although three Jun proteins were not induced by PGE2, AP-1 and ENKCRE-2 DNA binding activities were increased by PGE2, (approximately 5 and approximately 2.8-fold, respectively) and which were effectively reduced by CHX (approximately 2.5 and 2-fold, respectively). In western blot analyses, PGE2 enhanced the phosphorylation of CREB (approximately 2.6-fold at 1 h), and CHX showed a potentiative effect on PGE2-induced CREB phosphorylation ( approximately 1.7 fold at 1 h) which is similar to the action on proENK mRNA regulation. Our results suggest that PGE2 increases proENK mRNA expression via activating serine/threonine protein kinase such as PKA, but not calcium/calmodulin dependent protein kinase and MAPK. In addition, phosphorylation of CREB rather than the increase of AP-1 may have a possible role at least early stage in PGE2-induced proENK mRNA level and CHX-evoked potentiation.

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