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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Calcitonin gene-related peptide and ATP induce immediate early gene expression in cultured rat microglial cells.

Factors affecting gene expression in microglial cells were investigated using the induction of immediate early genes in cultured microglia as a model. In particular, the actions of calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) and ATP, both of which have been proposed as signalling molecules in the activation of glial cells, were evaluated using Northern blotting and in situ hybridization methods. In the presence of CGRP, c-fos and junB mRNAs accumulated in microglial cultures, whereas no significant change in c-jun and TIS11 mRNAs occurred. A similar pattern of immediate early gene activation was obtained when adenylate cyclase was stimulated with forskolin. CGRP also stimulated cyclic AMP accumulation with a half-maximal effect in the range 2-5 nM, suggesting a possible role for cyclic AMP as a mediator of the effects of CGRP on gene expression. In contrast to the selective induction of c-fos and junB by CGRP and forskolin, ATP led to the accumulation of all four immediate early genes studied, i.e., c-fos, junB, c-jun, and TIS11. Similar results were obtained when protein kinase C was stimulated with phorbol ester indicating that the induction of immediate early gene expression by ATP and CGRP involves different intracellular mechanisms. The action of ATP was mimicked by ADP and the poorly hydrolyzable analogues, ADP beta S and 2-methylthio ATP, but not by beta, gamma-methylene ATP, AMP, or adenosine, indicating that the receptor mediating the actions of ATP on microglial gene expression is probably of the P2Y-purinoreceptor type. The results suggest roles for CGRP and ATP as transcriptional activators in microglial cells.[1]


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