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

Pharmacological and functional characterization of muscarinic receptors in the frog pars intermedia.

The secretion of alphaMSH from the intermediate lobe of the frog pituitary is regulated by multiple factors, including classical neurotransmitters and neuropeptides. In particular, acetylcholine (ACh), acting via muscarinic receptors, stimulates alphaMSH release from frog neurointermediate lobes (NILs) in vitro. The aim of the present study was to characterize the type of receptor and the transduction pathways involved in the mechanism of action of ACh on frog melanotrope cells. The nonselective muscarinic receptor agonists muscarine and carbachol both stimulated alphaMSH release from perifused frog NILs, whereas the M1-selective muscarinic agonist McN-A-343 was virtually devoid of effect. Both the M1>M3 antagonist pirenzepine and the M3>M1 antagonist 4-diphenylacetoxy-N-methylpiperidine methiodide inhibited muscarine-induced alphaMSH release. Administration of a brief pulse of muscarine in the vicinity of cultured melanotrope cells provoked a 4-fold increase in the cytosolic calcium concentration ([Ca2+]i). Suppression of Ca2+ in the culture medium or addition of 3 mM Ni2+ abrogated the stimulatory effect of muscarine on [Ca2+]i and alphaMSH release. In contrast, omega-conotoxin GVIA and nifedipine did not significantly reduce the stimulatory effect of muscarine on [Ca2+]i and alphaMSH secretion. Exposure of NILs to muscarine provoked an increase in inositol phosphate formation, and this effect was dependent on extracellular Ca2+. The inhibitor of polyphosphoinositide turnover neomycin significantly attenuated the muscarine-evoked alphaMSH release. Similarly, pretreatment of frog NILs with phorbol ester markedly reduced the secretory response to muscarine. In contrast, the stimulatory effect of muscarine on alphaMSH release was not affected by the phospholipase A2 inhibitor dimethyl eicosadienoic acid or by the tyrosine kinase inhibitors lavendustin A, genistein, and tyrphostin 25. Muscarine at a high concentration (10(-4) M) only produced a 40% increase in cAMP formation. Preincubation of frog NILs with pertussis toxin did not significantly affect the muscarine-induced stimulation of alphaMSH release. These results indicate that frog melanotrope cells express a muscarinic receptor subtype pharmacologically related to the mammalian M3 receptor. Activation of this receptor causes calcium influx through Ni2+-sensitive Ca2+ channels and subsequent activation of the phopholipase C/protein kinase C transduction pathway.[1]


  1. Pharmacological and functional characterization of muscarinic receptors in the frog pars intermedia. Garnier, M., Lamacz, M., Galas, L., Lenglet, S., Tonon, M.C., Vaudry, H. Endocrinology (1998) [Pubmed]
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