The effects of pituitary adenylate cyclase activating polypeptide (PACAP) are mediated through G-protein-coupled receptors, the specific PAC1 receptor and VPAC1 and VPAC2 receptors which bind vasoactive intestinal peptide with similar affinity. Based on binding affinity studies, PACAP6-38 was discovered as a potent antagonist of PAC1 and it has been used by hundreds of studies as a PACAP antagonist. Recently, we have found that in certain cells/tissues, PACAP6-38 does not antagonize PACAP-induced effects, but surprisingly, it exerts similar actions to PACAP1-38, behaving as an agonist. In the present study, we report on the agonistic behavior of PACAP6-38 on neuropeptide release from sensory nerves of the isolated rat trachea and on the MAPK signaling pathways in cytotrophoblast cells. In isolated rat tracheae, PACAP6-38, similarly to PACAP1-38, induced significant inhibitory effects on the release of three simultaneously measured sensory neuropeptides, substance P, calcitonin gene-related peptide, and somatostatin evoked by both chemical excitation and electrical field stimulation of capsaicin-sensitive afferents. Effects of PACAP6-38 were the same as those of PACAP1-38 on MAPK signaling in human cytotrophoblast cells. Western blot analysis showed that both peptide forms stimulated ERK1/2 and JNK phosphorylation, while they both inhibited p38 MAPK phosphorylation. The most pronounced effects were observed when both peptides were present. In summary, our results show that PACAP6-38, which is a PACAP receptor antagonist in most cells/tissues, can behave as an agonist in other systems. The increasing interest in the effects of PACAP requires further studies on the pharmacological properties of the peptide and its analogues.
- JAR cytotrophoblast
- PACAP fragment
- Substance P
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience