The mechanisms by which somatostatin (SRIF) inhibits CRF-induced ACTH secretion from AtT20 cells were characterized by comparing the effects of SRIF on cAMP production, adenylate cyclase activity, and activation of cAMPdependent protein kinase isoenzymes with its effects on ACTH release. In isolated membranes, CRF (100 nM) stimulated adenylate cyclase activity 4- to 5-fold. SRIF inhibited CRF-stimulated adenylate cyclase in a concentration-dependent manner. However, maximal inhibition was 50%. SRIF did not inhibit basal adenylate cyclase or forskolin-stimulated cyclase in the absence of guanine nucleotides and had only small effects on forskolin-stimulated cyclase when assayed in the presence of guanine nucleotides. CRF (100 nM) induced small rises (2-fold) in intracellular cAMP levels which produced maximal ACTH release. SRIF inhibited basal and CRF-stimulated ACTH release in a concentration-dependent manner, and there was a good correlation between inhibition of ACTH release and inhibition of the activation of cAMP-dependent protein kinases in these cells. Thus, the effect of SRIF on CRF-induced ACTH release appeared to result from its effect on inhibition of adenylate cyclase. In the presence of 3-methylisobutylxanthine (MIX), CRF increased cAMP levels 20-fold and activated a greater proportion of cAMP-dependent protein kinase, but did not stimulate ACTH release more than CRF alone. Under these conditions, SRIF (100 nM) inhibited cAMP accumulation by 90%. ACTH release was also inhibited, but higher concentrations of SRIF were required to block ACTH release compared to cells incubated in the absence of MIX. Sufficient cAMP levels were achieved so that activation of cAMP-dependent protein kinases was only partially blocked. There was still sufficient cAMP to activate cAMP-dependent protein kinase to an extent equal to that seen with CRF without MIX. Similar effects of SRIF on cAMP accumulation and protein kinase activation were seen when cells were stimulated with forskolin. Our results demonstrate that SRIF inhibits ACTH release from AtT20 cells by inhibiting hormone-sensitive adenylate cyclase and thereby prevents the activation of cAMP-dependent protein kinases. However, under conditions where cAMP-dependent protein kinases are still sufficiently active to induce ACTH secretion, high concentrations of SRIF can inhibit ACTH release by a mechanism independent of cAMP-dependent protein kinase.
ASJC Scopus subject areas