Chronic treatment of C6 glioma cells with antidepressant drugs increases functional coupling between a G protein (Gs) and adenylyl cyclase

J Neurochem. 1995 Feb;64(2):724-32. doi: 10.1046/j.1471-4159.1995.64020724.x.


It has been reported that antidepressant treatment in rats results in a significant increase of Gs-mediated stimulation of adenylyl cyclase and this effect correlates well with the clinical therapeutic response. This increased activity occurs despite a down-regulation of several receptors linked normally to the stimulation of that enzyme. To distinguish between these effects and to determine whether presynaptic components of the cell are required, C6 glioma cells were treated with antidepressants. Tricyclic (amitriptyline and desipramine) or atypical (iprindole) antidepressant exposure to C6 cells for 5 days significantly increased guanylyl-5'-imidodiphosphate [Gpp(NH)p]-stimulated adenylyl cyclase activity in membrane preparations in a manner similar to that seen for rat brain membranes after 21-day treatment. This effect was drug dose and exposure time dependent. Nevertheless, stimulation of adenylyl cyclase by isoproterenol was decreased after antidepressant treatment. By comparison, the antidepressant-induced beta-receptor desensitization occurred earlier than the enhancement of Gpp(NH)p-activated adenylyl cyclase, and extensive desensitization of beta receptors by isoproterenol treatment did not enhance the Gpp(NH)p-stimulated adenylyl cyclase activity. These results indicated that the antidepressant has a direct effect on cell signaling and this enhanced Gpp(NH)p-stimulated adenylyl cyclase activity is not correlated with desensitization of beta-adrenergic receptor stimulated adenylyl cyclase. These data contribute to the suggestion that G proteins (especially Gs) are the target of antidepressant actions. Immunoblotting showed that neither the number of G protein subunits (alpha s, alpha i, alpha o, and beta) nor their association with the plasma membrane was changed after antidepressant treatment.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adenylyl Cyclases / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Antidepressive Agents / pharmacology*
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Cytosol / metabolism
  • Desipramine / pharmacology
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Enzyme Activation
  • GTP-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Glioma / metabolism*
  • Glioma / pathology
  • Guanylyl Imidodiphosphate / pharmacology
  • Isoproterenol / pharmacology
  • Rats
  • Receptors, Adrenergic, beta / drug effects
  • Receptors, Adrenergic, beta / metabolism
  • Time Factors
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Antidepressive Agents
  • Receptors, Adrenergic, beta
  • Guanylyl Imidodiphosphate
  • GTP-Binding Proteins
  • Adenylyl Cyclases
  • Isoproterenol
  • Desipramine