Regulation of nitric oxide production in snail (Lymnaea stagnalis) defence cells: a role for PKC and ERK signalling pathways

Wright, Bernice, Lacchini, Audrey H., Davies, Angela J. and Walker, Anthony J. (2006) Regulation of nitric oxide production in snail (Lymnaea stagnalis) defence cells: a role for PKC and ERK signalling pathways. Biology of the Cell, 98(5), pp. 265-278. ISSN (print) 0248-4900

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BACKGROUND INFORMATION: Nitric oxide (NO) is an important molecule in innate immune responses. In molluscs NO is produced by mobile defence cells called haemocytes; however, the molecular mechanisms that regulate NO production in these cells is poorly understood. The present study focused on the role of cell signalling pathways in NO production by primary haemocytes from the snail Lymnaea stagnalis. RESULTS: When haemocytes were challenged with PMA (10 microM) or the beta-1,3-glucan laminarin (10 mg/ml), an 8-fold and 4-fold increase in NO production were observed after 60 min respectively. Moreover, the NOS (NO synthase) inhibitors L-NAME (N(G)-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester) and L-NMMA (N(G)-monomethyl-L-arginine) were found to block laminarin- and PMA-induced NO synthesis. Treatment of haemocytes with PMA or laminarin also increased the phosphorylation (activation) status of PKC (protein kinase C). When haemocytes were preincubated with PKC inhibitors (calphostin C or GF109203X) or inhibitors of the ERK (extracellular-signal-regulated kinase) pathway (PD98059 or U0126) prior to challenge, significant reductions in PKC and ERK phosphorylation and NO production were observed following exposure to laminarin or PMA. The greatest effect on NO production was seen with GF109203X and U0126, with PMA-induced NO production inhibited by 94% and 87% and laminarin-induced NO production by 50% and 91% respectively. CONCLUSIONS: These data suggest that ERK and PKC comprise part of the signalling machinery that regulates NOS activation and subsequent production of NO in molluscan haemocytes. To our knowledge, this is the first report that shows a role for these signalling proteins in the generation of NO in invertebrate defence cells.

Item Type: Article
Research Area: Allied health professions and studies
Faculty, School or Research Centre: Faculty of Science (until 2011) > School of Life Sciences
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Depositing User: Ban Talal
Date Deposited: 25 Jun 2007
Last Modified: 30 Sep 2010 12:24

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