Nicotine-induced phosphorylation of Akt through epidermal growth factor receptor and Src in PC12h cells

J Neurochem. 2002 Dec;83(6):1372-9. doi: 10.1046/j.1471-4159.2002.01248.x.


Nicotine treatment triggers calcium influx into neuronal cells, which promotes cell survival in a number of neuronal cells. Phosphoinositide (PI) 3-kinase and downstream PI3-kinase target Akt have been reported to be important in the calcium-mediated promotion of survival in a wide variety of cells. We investigated the mechanisms of nicotine-induced phosphorylation of Akt in PC12h cells, in comparison with nicotine-induced ERK phosphorylation. Nicotine induced Akt phosphorylation in a dose-dependent manner. A nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) alpha7 subunit-selective inhibitor had no significant effect on nicotine-induced Akt phosphorylation, while a non-selective nAChR antagonist inhibited the phosphorylation. L-type voltage-sensitive calcium channel (VSCC) antagonists, calmodulin antagonist, and Ca2+/calmudulin-dependent protein kinase (CaM kinase) inhibitor prevented the nicotine-induced Akt phosphorylation. Three epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibitors prevented the nicotine-induced phosphorylation of both extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase (p42/44 MAP kinase, ERK) and Akt. In contrast, an inhibitor of the Src family tyrosine kinase prevented the nicotine-induced Akt phosphorylation but not ERK phosphorylation. These results suggested that nicotine induces the activation of both PI3-kinase/Akt and ERK pathways via common pathways including non-alpha7-nAChRs, L-type VSCC, CaM kinase II and EGFR in PC12h cells, but Src family tyrosine kinases only participate in the pathway to activate Akt.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium Channel Blockers / pharmacology
  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinases / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Calmodulin / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Calmodulin / metabolism
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • ErbB Receptors / antagonists & inhibitors
  • ErbB Receptors / metabolism*
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / metabolism
  • Nicotine / pharmacology*
  • Nicotinic Antagonists / pharmacology
  • PC12 Cells
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases / metabolism
  • Phosphoinositide-3 Kinase Inhibitors
  • Phosphorylation / drug effects
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / metabolism*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt
  • Rats
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects
  • Signal Transduction / physiology
  • src-Family Kinases / antagonists & inhibitors
  • src-Family Kinases / metabolism*


  • Calcium Channel Blockers
  • Calmodulin
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Nicotinic Antagonists
  • Phosphoinositide-3 Kinase Inhibitors
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Nicotine
  • ErbB Receptors
  • src-Family Kinases
  • Akt1 protein, rat
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt
  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinases
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases