Regulation of proenkephalin A messenger ribonucleic acid levels in normal B lymphocytes: Specific inhibition by glucocorticoid hormones and superinduction by cycloheximide

Oded Z. Behar, Haim Ovadia*, Roberto D. Polakiewicz, Oded Abramsky, Haim Rosen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations

Abstract

Proenkephalin A (PEA) encodes a group of small peptides known to function as neurotransmitters, neuromodulators, and neurohormones in the nervous and neuroendocrine systems. This gene has been shown to be expressed in lymphoid cells, supporting the concept of bidirectional communication between the immune system and the central nervous system. In the present study, we investigated the effect of steroids and the inhibition of protein and RNA syntheses on the regulation of PEA expression in normal rat B cells. The transient expression of PEA messenger (m) RNA levels occurring normally in B cells was markedly inhibited by the presence of either 50 nM prednisolone or dexamethasone, both of which are glucocorticoids; other steroids, such as testosterone or the steroid-inactive metabolite androsterone, were ineffective. In the presence of cycloheximide, a protein synthesis inhibitor, PEA mRNA was superinduced by a factor of 15-fold. Sorting by flow cytometry of cycloheximide-treated cells followed by in situ hybridization analysis revealed that the expression of PEA mRNA was exclusively confined to a small fraction of B cells. These results indicate that the mechanisms regulating PEA gene expression in B cells differ from those previously described in cells of the neuroendocrine and the nervous systems.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)649-655
Number of pages7
JournalEndocrinology
Volume129
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1991

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