Steroid hormones and neurotrophic factors regulate astroglial cell survival, proliferation, and differentiation in culture. The present study examines the interaction between glucocorticoids and growth factors (GFs) on cytoskeletal proteins and extracellular signal-regulated kinase 2 (ERK2) expression in stressed astroglial cultures at 25 days in vitro, according to the following experimental condition. Pretreatment with basic fibroblast growth factor alone or in combination with dexamethasone 10(-9) M for 48 hr induced an enhancement of glial fibrillary acidic protein, vimetin, and ERK2 expression. Treatment with "progression" GFs alone and in the last 12 hr significantly increased the above-mentioned markers' expression. The present study shows that glucocorticoids may cooperate with GFs or may abrogate their effects, depending on the experimental culture conditions used as well as the exposure time and the types of GFs added. Our findings provide evidence of interactive dialogue between GFs and neurosteroids in cultured astrocytes. This may have implications in the therapeutic approach to neurologic disorders associated with astrogliosis.
The present study seeks to elucidate the interactions between the "competence" growth factor basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) and/or estrogen 17β-estradiol and the "progression" growth factors epidermal growth factor (EGF), insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I), and insulin (INS) on DNA labeling and also cyclin D1, extracellular signal-related kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2), glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), and vimentin expression in astroglial cultures under different experimental conditions. Pretreatment for 24 hr with bFGF and subsequent exposure for 36 hr to estradiol (E2 ) and EGF, IGF-I, or INS stimulated DNA labeling in the last 12 hr, especially when the cultures were treated with progression growth factors. bFGF pretreatment and subsequent treatment with E2 for 36 hr stimulated DNA labeling. The 36-hr E2 treatment alone did not significantly decrease DNA labeling, but contemporary addition of E2 with two or three growth factors stimulated DNA labeling remarkably. When E2 was coadded with growth factors, a significantly increased DNA labeling was observed, demonstrating an astroglial synergistic mitogenic effect evoked by contemporary treatment with growth factors in the presence of estrogens. Cyclin D1 expression was markedly increased when astrocyte cultures were pretreated for 36 hr with E2 and subsequently treated with two or three competence and progression growth factors. A highly significant increase of ERK1/2 expression was observed after all the treatments (EGF, bFGF, INS, IGF-I alone or in combination with two or three growth factors). GFAP and vimentin expression was markedly increased when the cultures were treated with two or three growth factors. In conclusion, our data demonstrate estradiol-growth factor cross-talk during astroglial cell proliferation and differentiation in culture.
Regulation of intracellular calcium is crucial both for proper neuronal function and survival. By coupling ATP hydrolysis with Ca(2+) extrusion from the cell, the plasma membrane calcium-dependent ATPases (PMCAs) play an essential role in controlling intracellular calcium levels in neurons. In contrast to PMCA2 and PMCA3, which are expressed in significant levels only in the brain and a few other tissues, PMCA1 is ubiquitously distributed, and is thus widely believed to play a "housekeeping" function in mammalian cells. Whereas the PMCA1b splice variant is predominant in most tissues, an alternative variant, PMCA1a, is the major form of PMCA1 in the adult brain. Here, we use immunohistochemistry to analyze the cellular and subcellular distribution of PMCA1a in the brain. We show that PMCA1a is not ubiquitously expressed, but rather is confined to neurons, where it concentrates in the plasma membrane of somata, dendrites, and spines. Thus, rather than serving a general housekeeping function, our data suggest that PMCA1a is a calcium pump specialized for neurons, where it may contribute to the modulation of somatic and dendritic Ca(2+) transients.