Involvement of p38 MAP kinase pathway in the synergistic activation of PACAP mRNA expression by NGF and PACAP in PC12h cells

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2001 Jul 20;285(3):656-61. doi: 10.1006/bbrc.2001.5244.


We have recently shown that in PC12 cells, PACAP and NGF synergistically increase PACAP gene transcription and mRNA level, and that the MAPK/ERK kinase inhibitor PD98059 blocks the PACAP mRNA expression induced by either PACAP or NGF, but not that induced by the combination, suggesting involvement of multiple signaling pathways. Here we show that the p38 MAPK inhibitor SB203580 almost completely inhibits the PACAP mRNA expression induced by PACAP alone or in combination with NGF. PACAP induces neurite outgrowth and potentiates NGF-induced neurite outgrowth in PC12h cells. Unlike the case for the PACAP mRNA expression, SB203580 did not affect, but PD98059 reduced, PACAP and NGF-induced neurite outgrowth. These results indicate that PACAP receptors are coupled to the p38 signaling pathway, and that p38 plays a key role in the regulation of PACAP gene expression, while ERK, but not p38, MAPK is involved in PACAP and NGF-induced neurite outgrowth.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Synergism
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Flavonoids / pharmacology
  • Gene Expression / drug effects
  • Imidazoles / pharmacology
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / metabolism*
  • Nerve Growth Factor / pharmacology*
  • Neurites / drug effects
  • Neuropeptides / genetics
  • Neuropeptides / metabolism*
  • Neuropeptides / pharmacology*
  • PC12 Cells
  • Pituitary Adenylate Cyclase-Activating Polypeptide
  • Pyridines / pharmacology
  • RNA, Messenger / biosynthesis*
  • Rats
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects
  • Signal Transduction / physiology
  • p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases


  • Adcyap1 protein, rat
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Flavonoids
  • Imidazoles
  • Neuropeptides
  • Pituitary Adenylate Cyclase-Activating Polypeptide
  • Pyridines
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Nerve Growth Factor
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
  • p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
  • SB 203580
  • 2-(2-amino-3-methoxyphenyl)-4H-1-benzopyran-4-one