THE ROLE OF CALCIUM IN THE MALPIGHIAN TUBULES OF THE KISSING BUG Rhodnius prolixus
Stimulation of urine production by the Malpighian (renal) tubules in Rhodnius prolixus is regulated by at least two diuretic hormones, CRF-related peptide and serotonin, that have traditionally been believed to function through the activation of cAMP-mediated intracellular second messenger pathways. In this study I demonstrate that serotonin stimulation triggered, in addition to cAMP, intracellular Ca2+ waves in the Malpighian tubule cells of R. prolixus. Treatment with the intracellular Ca2+ chelator BAPTA-AM blocked the intracellular Ca2+ waves and reduced serotonin-stimulated fluid secretion by 75%. This suggests a role for intracellular Ca2+ signaling in the excretory system of R. prolixus. Serotonin stimulated Malpighian tubules (MTs) exposed to Ca2+-free saline plus BAPTA-AM secreted an abnormal fluid, showing: increased K+ concentration, reduced Na+ concentration and lower pH. These results along with measurement of transepithelial potential (TEP) suggest that the basolateral Na+:K+:2Cl- cotransporter (NKCC) activity is reduced in tubule cells treated with BAPTA-AM, suggesting that Ca2+ is required to modulate the activity of the basolateral NKCC. Treatment with the non-hydrolysable cell-permeable cAMP analog, 8Br-cAMP, produced fluid with the same K+ and Na+ concentration and at the same secretion rate as serotonin-stimulated tubules. In addition, 8Br-cAMP triggered intracellular Ca2+ oscillations similar to those obtained with serotonin. 8Br-cAMP-stimulated tubules treated with BAPTA-AM decreased their fluid secretion by about 40% and increased Na+ concentration, similar to the effect observed on serotonin-stimulated tubules. Therefore, I conclude that the intracellular Ca2+ waves triggered by serotonin are mediated by cAMP. The role of inositol-3-phospate (InsP3) in Ca2+ release was tested by treating the tubules with the InsP3 receptor blocker xestospongin. The treatment decreased fluid secretion rate as well as the amplitude of Ca2+ waves in serotonin-stimulated tubules. These results suggest that serotonin activates the production of InsP3 and, most likely, diacylglycerol (DAG). Thus, I decided to test whether the protein kinase C (PKC) may be involved in serotonin-stimulated secretion. The PKC inhibitors chelerythrine and bisindolylmaleimide (BIM) decreased secretion fluid rate in serotonin-stimulated tubules by 50% and 70%, respectively. Fluid secreted by tubules treated with BIM showed no differences in K+ and Na+ concentrations compared to controls, however both ion fluxes decreased. The evidence suggests that PKC is involved in serotonin stimulated secretion; the mechanism is still not understood. Taken together, the results suggest that cAMP, Ca2+ and PLC-PKC pathway are involved in serotonin stimulated secretion. However cAMP stimulation is enough for maximal secretion rate. Therefore PLC-PKC must act downstream of cAMP. Based on those results we hypothesize that serotonin binds a GPCR, increasing cAMP by activation of an adenylate cyclase (AC). Subsequently, cAMP is somehow able to activate PLC, which finally produces Ca2+ release, PKC activation and NKCC upregulation.
DegreeMaster of Science (M.Sc.)
SupervisorIanowski, Juan P.
CommitteeBekar, Lane K.; West, Nigel; Desautels, Michel
Copyright DateDecember 2013
Malpighian tubules, Chagas, Rhodnuis prolixus, Calcium oscillations, NKCC