Subtype-specific neuronal differentiation of PC12 cells transfected with alpha2-adrenergic receptors.

European journal of cell biology

PubMedID: 12113477

Taraviras S, Olli-Lähdesmäki T, Lymperopoulos A, Charitonidou D, Mavroidis M, Kallio J, Scheinin M, Flordellis C. Subtype-specific neuronal differentiation of PC12 cells transfected with alpha2-adrenergic receptors. Eur J Cell Biol. 2002;81(6):363-74.
Cells of the PC12 rat pheochromocytoma cell line acquire characteristics of sympathetic neurons under appropriate treatment. Stably transfected PC12 cells expressing individual alpha2-adrenergic receptor (alpha2-AR) subtypes were used to assess the role of alpha2-ARs in neuronal differentiation and to characterise the signalling pathways activated by the alpha2-AR agonist epinephrine in these cells. The effects of alpha2-AR activation were compared with the differentiating action and the signalling mechanisms of nerve growth factor (NGF). Epinephrine induced neuronal differentiation of PC12alpha2 cells through alpha2-AR activation in a subtype-dependent manner, internalization of all human alpha2-AR subtypes, and activation of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and the serine-threonine protein kinase Akt. Epinephrine and NGF showed synergism in their differentiating effects. The MAPK kinase (MEK-1) inhibitor PD 98059 abolished the differentiating effect of epinephrine indicating that the differentiation is dependent on MAPK activation. Activating protein-1 (AP-1) DNA-binding activity was increased after epinephrine treatment in all three PC12alpha2 subtype clones. Evaluation of the potential physiological consequences of these findings requires further studies on endogenously expressed alpha2-ARs in neuronal cells.