Investigations of the signaling cascade involved in diuretic hormone stimulation of Malpighian tubule fluid secretion in Rhodnius prolixus
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In insects, the excretory system is comprised of the Malpighian tubules (MTs) and the hindgut, which collectively function to maintain ionic and osmotic balance of the haemolymph and rid the organism of toxic compounds or elements in excess. Secretion by the Malpighian tubules of insects is regulated by a variety of hormones including peptidergic factors as well as biogenic amines. In Rhodnius prolixus, two endogenous diuretic hormones have been identified; the biogenic amine serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) and the corticotropin releasing factor-related peptide, RhoprCRF. Both factors significantly increase secretion by MTs and are known to elevate intracellular levels of cAMP. Interestingly, applying sub-maximal doses of these two diuretic factors in combination on isolated MTs in vitro reveals synergistic effects as rates of fluid secretion are significantly higher than would be expected if rates of secretion from MTs treated with each factor alone were summed. This observed synergism suggests that different downstream targets may be activated by the two diuretic factors, but that some cellular elicitors may be shared since cAMP is elevated in response to either diuretic hormone. This study investigated the signaling cascade involved in the diuretic hormone regulation of Malpighian tubule fluid secretion. Bioassays were performed in physiological as well as modified salines (e.g. calcium-free) alone or in the presence of a variety of pharmacological compounds that interfere with prospective intracellular targets, such as the apical cation/H(+) exchanger. Intriguingly, only amiloride yielded differential effects on the two diuretics with 5HT-stimulated secretion being blocked, whereas in contrast, RhoprCRF-stimulated secretion was unaffected. In addition, experiments examining the role of extracellular and intracellular calcium on fluid secretion rate showed that both diuretics are dependent on intracellular calcium availability. Finally, fluid secretion stimulated by either diuretic hormone was also sensitive to inhibition of cAMP-dependent protein kinase A. Taken together, these results suggest that each diuretic hormone activates pathways dependent upon intracellular calcium and cAMP.
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