Nerve growth factor modulates the drug sensitivity of neurotransmitter release from PC-12 cells

S. Kongsamut, R. J. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


The release of catecholamines from adrenal chromaffin cells is known to be blocked by dihydropyridines, such as nitrendipine, and enhanced by others, such as BAY K8644. On the ohter hand, release from sympathetic neurons is predominantly insensitive to these agents. Release of [3H]norepinephrine from undifferentiated PC-12 pheochromocytoma cells resembles that from chromaffin cells in that it is extremely sensitive to dihydropyridines. Following differentiation, however, release of catecholamine becomes predominantly insensitive to both nitrendipine and BAY K8644. Under both growth conditions, release remains completely blocked by 3 mM Co2+ or by removal of Ca2+ from the release media. Dose-response curves to K+ show that following differentiation, cells become more sensitive, releasing transmitter at lower K+ concentrations. In contrast, depolarization-induced uptake of 45Ca2+ remains sensitive to dihydropyridines and shows similar sensitivity to K+ stimulation in both growth conditions. These results can be explained by invoking a model involving dihydropyridine-sensitive and -insensitive types of voltage-sensitive calcium channels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2243-2247
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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