The effect of hyperosmolarity on the induction of the mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK) was studied in bovine aortic endothelial cell (EC). Different types of agents were used to differentiate the effects of osmolarity from other variables. Hypertonic treatment with physiologically relevant levels of NaCl (350 mOsm/kg H(2)O) significantly increased the level of expression of p38 within 2 min, and ERK-1/2 and JNK after 10 min. The inductions peaked between 30 and 60 min and returned to baseline levels within 2 h. A similar pattern of induction occurred with ionic contrast agent. p38 induction by glucose and mannitol showed a similar pattern, although the level of ERK-1/2 phosphorylation was not as robust, and JNK was not induced by glucose. Urea did not affect the level of induction of the MAPK isoforms. It is concluded that MAPK plays an important role in hyperosmolality-induced signal transduction. Different osmotic agents induce MAPK expression differently. No MAPK induction with urea implies that cell shrinkage may be an important component of hyperosmolality-induced MAPK phosphorylation.
Copyright 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.