Protein kinase G is involved in ammonia-induced swelling of astrocytes.

Journal of neurochemistry

PubMedID: 19393034

Konopacka A, Konopacki FA, Albrecht J. Protein kinase G is involved in ammonia-induced swelling of astrocytes. J Neurochem. 2009;109 Suppl 1246-51.
Ammonia-induced swelling of astrocytes is a primary cause of brain edema associated with acute hepatic encephalopathy. Previous studies have shown that ammonia transiently increases cGMP in brain in vivo and in cultured astrocytes in vitro. We hypothesized that protein kinase G (PKG), an enzyme activated by cGMP and implicated in regulation of cell shape, size, and/or volume in peripheral and CNS cells, may play a role in the ammonia-induced astrocytic volume increase. Treatment of cultured rat cortical astrocytes with 1 or 5 mM NH4Cl (ammonia) for 24 h increased their cell volume by 50% and 80% above control, respectively, as measured by confocal imaging followed by 3D computational analysis. A cGMP analog, 8-(4-chlorophenylthio)-cGMP, increased the cell volume in control cells and potentiated the increase in 1 mM ammonia-treated cells. A soluble guanylate cyclase inhibitor (1H-[1,2,4]oxadiazolo[4,3-a]quinoxalin-1-one) abrogated, and a PKG inhibitor [8-(4-chlorophenylthio)-cGMP-thioate, Rp-isomer] dose-dependently reduced the cell volume-increasing effect of 5 mM ammonia. The results suggest that (i) PKG may play a permissive role in ammonia-induced astrocytic swelling and (ii) elevation of brain cGMP associated with acute exposure to ammonia in vivo may aggravate the ensuing brain edema.