Recent data have shown that PTH down-regulation of its receptor on opossum kidney (OK) cells is not associated with any change in the steady state level of the PTH/PTH-related peptide (PTHrP) receptor messenger RNA. For analysis of down-regulation of the PTH/PTHrP receptor in OK cells, the present work uses a specific receptor antiserum, SR-2, that is useful for detection and quantification of PTH/PTHrP receptor immunoreactivity on intact cells bearing the opossum PTH/PTHrP receptor. SR-2 specifically binds to COS-7 cells transiently expressing the opossum PTH/PTHrP receptor complementary DNA (OK-O), to LLCPK1 cells stably expressing the recombinant opossum PTH/PTHrP receptor (AOK cells), and to OK cells expressing endogenous PTH/PTHrP receptors, but not to mock-transfected COS-7 cells or untransfected LLCPK1 cells. SR-2 binding was also linearly correlated with PTH binding in COS-7 cells transfected with different amounts of OK-O plasmid DNA. Treatment with PTH (100 nM) for 4 and 6 h did not significantly down-regulate the PTH/PTHrP receptor immunoreactivity, although PTH binding was decreased to 51% and 49% of control, respectively, and PTH-stimulated cAMP accumulation was decreased to 27% and 28% of control, respectively. Treatment with PTH (100 nM) for 24 and 48 h significantly decreased PTH binding to 51% and 60% of control and decreased PTH/PTHrP receptor immunoreactivity to 68% and 58% of control, respectively. Incubation of OK cells with 0.1 nM to 1 μM PTH for 4 h did not downregulate the PTH/PTHrP receptor immunoreactivity, although PTH binding was decreased dramatically. Scatchard blot analysis revealed that the binding affinity was decreased by 7-fold in OK cells treated with PTH for 4 h without change in receptor number. Conversely, treatment of OK cells with PTH for 24 h resulted in a parallel decrease in both receptor number and receptor immunoreactivity without any change in receptor binding affinity. Treatment of OK cells with dexamethasone (0.1 nM to 1 μM) had no effect on PTH binding or PTH/PTHrP receptor immunoreactivity. Incubation of OK cells with both dexamethasone (1 μM) and PTH (0.1 nM to 1 μM), however, caused a significantly greater down-regulation of both PTH binding and PTH/PTHrP receptor immunoreactivity than in cells treated with PTH alone. These data indicate that during the first 4 h of exposure of OK cells to PTH, PTH/PTHrP receptors remain on the cell surface but have lowered affinity to bind the ligand and that dexamethasone potentiates the effect of PTH on PTH/PTHrP receptor down-regulation in OK cells.
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