In addition to their steroidogenic effect on cultured bovine adrenal fasciculata cells ACTH and angiotensin-II (A-II) have a long term effect on the ability of these cells to respond to subsequent hormonal stimulation. The present work explores the effects of a 72-h pretreatment of adrenal cells with both hormones on the first steps of the mechanism of action of ACTH and A-II and on the amounts of the α-subunits of guanine nucleotide binding proteins Gs and Gi. ACTH but not A-II increased acute ACTH or cholera toxin-induced cAMP production. Moreover, ACTH but not A-II enhanced the amount of αsprotein evaluated by cholera toxin ADP ribosylation, whereas both hormones elevated immunoblotted αs. Both hormones increased A-II-induced phosphoinositide breakdown and Ca2+uptake without modification of the A-II-potentiating effect on ACTH-induced cAMP production. Treatment of cells with per-tussis toxin (PT, 0.5 μg/ml) for the last 24 h reduced by 27% the A-II-induced phosphoinositide breakdown in A-II-pretreated cells but had no significant effect in ACTH-pretreated cells. No effect of PT was observed on A-II-induced Ca2+uptake or on its potentiating action on ACTH-induced cAMP production in ACTH as well as A-II-pretreated cells. Moreover, both hormones increased Gi proteins (40-41 kDa) evaluated by PT ADP ribosylation. Immunoblot analysis revealed that ACTH preferentially enhanced αi3, whereas the stimulatory effect of A-II was more marked on αi1and αi2. These results indicate that in bovine adrenal fasciculata cells, peptide hormones settle target cell responsiveness not only by regulating the membrane-bound receptors, but also by modulating the level of G proteins coupling these receptors to the intracellular signals.
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