Regulation by calcium of the nitric oxide/cyclic GMP system in cerebellar granule cells and astroglia in culture

J Neurosci Res. 1997 Aug 1;49(3):333-41.


Ca2+ entry induced by N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) in neurons and by noradrenaline (NA) in astrocytes is known to increase intracellular cyclic GMP (cGMP) levels through stimulation of the Ca2+-dependent nitric oxide synthase type I (NOS-I). The possibility that Ca2+ entry could also down-regulate intracellular cGMP by activating a Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent phosphodiesterase (CaM-PDE) has been investigated here in primary cultures enriched in granule neurons or in astroglia from rat cerebellum. We show that the same agonists that stimulate nitric oxide (NO) formation (NMDA and NA at 100 microM) and the Ca2+ ionophore A23187 (10 microM) decrease cGMP generated in response to direct stimulation of soluble guanylyl cyclase (sGC) by NO donors in both cell types. This effect requires extracellular Ca2+ and is prevented by the calmodulin inhibitor W7 (100 microM). Membrane depolarization, manipulations of the Na+ gradient, and intracellular Ca2+ mobilization also decrease NO donor-induced cGMP formation in granule cells. In astroglia Ca2+ entry additionally down-regulates cGMP generated by stimulation of the particulate GC by atrial natriuretic peptide (ANF). Decreases in cGMP produced by A23187 were more pronounced in the absence than in the presence of the PDE inhibitor 3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine (IBMX; 1 mM), indicating that a CaM-PDE was involved. We also show that astroglial cells can accumulate similar amounts of cGMP than neurons in response to NO donors when IBMX is present but much lower levels in its absence. This may result from a lower ratio of sGC to PDE activities in astroglia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 1-Methyl-3-isobutylxanthine / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Astrocytes / enzymology
  • Astrocytes / metabolism*
  • Astrocytes / physiology
  • Calcium / physiology*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cerebellum / cytology
  • Cerebellum / enzymology
  • Cerebellum / metabolism*
  • Cyclic GMP / physiology*
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Guanylate Cyclase / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Male
  • N-Methylaspartate / pharmacology
  • Nitric Oxide / physiology*
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Phosphodiesterase Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Sulfonamides / pharmacology
  • Vasodilator Agents / pharmacology


  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Phosphodiesterase Inhibitors
  • Sulfonamides
  • Vasodilator Agents
  • Nitric Oxide
  • N-Methylaspartate
  • W 7
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase
  • Guanylate Cyclase
  • Cyclic GMP
  • Calcium
  • 1-Methyl-3-isobutylxanthine