Enhancement of macrophage adenylate cyclase by microtubule disrupting drugs

Anna Grunspan-Swirsky, Edgar Pick*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The accumulation of cyclic adenosine 3′,5′-monophosphate (cAMP) in guinea-pig macrophages exposed to the adenylate cyclase (AC) stimulators prostaglandin E1 (PGE1) and isoproterenol (IP), was markedly enhanced by pretreatment of the cells with colchicine, vinblastine, and podophyllotoxin-agents which prevent microtubule assembly. The same agents did not augment basal cAMP levels. The facilitating effect of the drugs on the response to PGE1 and IP developed both in the absence and presence of a phosphodiesterase (PDE) inhibitor. The same drugs also enhanced the accumulation of cAMP induced by cholera toxin (CT) but the presence of a PDE inhibitor was required for such enhancement to become evident. Pretreatment of macrophages with cytochalasin B, an agent interfering with microfilament function, had no effect on the responsiveness of the cells to AC stimulators. The microtubule stabilizer, deuterium oxide (D2O) partially reversed the colchicine effect. Microtubule disrupting drugs did not block the release of cAMP from the cells into the surrounding medium. Macrophages incubated as monolayers or in suspension showed the same degree of increased responsiveness to stimulators after preexposure to colchicine. Preincubation with the ionophore A23187, which elevates the intracellular concentration of Ca2+, also enhanced the stimulation of AC by PGE1 and IP. Microtubule disrupting agents did not potentiate AC activity in broken cell preparations, whether added to the intact cells before disruption or directly to the enzyme assay mixture, nor did they affect PDE activity of macrophage sonicates. Moderate enhancement of PGE1-induced cAMP formation was also seen in colchicine- and vinblastine-treated lymphocytes. It was concluded that microtubules control the activity of AC by restricting the mobility of membrane receptors. Disruption of microtubules by drugs results in the removal of such restraints and an augmented chance of productive interactions between receptors and catalytic units of AC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-82
Number of pages12
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1978


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