Important alterations of noradrenergic activity are known to occur in specific brain regions and in different lymphoid tissues during the course of an immune response. Our recent characterization of the beta 2-adrenergic receptor (beta 2AR)-cAMP system of the rat thymus gland, the identification of a thymic beta 2AR gene expression, and the marked modulation of receptor mRNA concentration after castration and replacement with estrogen prompted us to study the ability of products of immune axis activation to modulate beta 2AR number, distribution, and expression in the male rat thymus. Moreover, the effect of adrenergic stimulation of adenylyl cyclase activity on thymus gland membrane preparations was measured. The beta 2AR present in the rat thymus undergoes marked changes in both number and distribution during the course of an immune response. At 3 days after antigenic challenge (injection of BSA in complete Freund's adjuvant), a sharp decrease of receptor number coupled with a significant loss of the autoradiographic reaction in the medullary compartment of the rat thymus gland were observed. These effects were followed by a significant increase in receptor density and number without changes in receptor affinity at 7 and 15 days post immunization, corresponding to the pick of the immune response. Parallel alterations in adenylyl cyclase activity were measured. Northern blot analysis, using a human beta 2AR cDNA as a probe, revealed dramatic alterations of the beta 2AR mRNA in the thymus, characterized by an approximately 75% decrease of mRNA level 3 days after immunization, and by a progressive increase at 7 and 15 days, with beta 2AR mRNA concentration rising to levels even higher than those found in control animals. These results suggest that the immune response evokes marked alterations of the thymic beta 2AR-cAMP signaling pathway. Moreover, antigenic stimulation triggers a down- and up-modulation of beta 2AR gene expression. Although it is presently unknown whether factor(s) released by immune axis activation act at the level of gene transcription to modulate adrenergic receptor function in the rat thymus, such down- and up-regulation of beta 2AR mRNA may play a role in the dynamic regulation of the immune response.
|Titolo:||The immune response evokes up- and down-modulation of beta 2-adrenergic receptor messenger RNA concentration in the male rat thymus.|
|Data di pubblicazione:||1992|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|