The purpose of this study was to evaluate regulation of PTH secretion by protein kinase-C (PKC) in adult bovine parathyroid cells. Extracellular calcium (Ca2+e) is the main physiological regulator of PTH secretion. Putative second messengers include intracellular calcium (Ca2+i), cAMP, inositol trisphosphate, and diacylglycerol (DAG). Both DAG and Ca2+i activate PKC. Certain phorbol esters mimic the effect of DAG and cause prolonged stimulation of PKC. The stimulatory phorbol esters 12-0-tetradecanoylphorbol acetate (1 µM) and phorbol-12, 13-dibutyrate (1 µM) did not affect PTH secretion at low Ca2+e, but increased both individual cell secretion and recruitment of cells to secrete at high Ca2+e. The PKC inhibitors H7 (1 µM), tamoxifen (10 µm), and sphinganine (5 µm) inhibited PTH release at low Ca2+e(0.1 and 0.2 mM) and decreased cell recruitment over the physiological range of Ca2+e- The nonstimulatory phorbol esters 4α-phorbol-12, 13-didecanoate (1 µM) and phorbol-13-monoacetate (1 µM) had no effect on PTH secretion. To assess the mechanism by which certain phorbol esters stimulated PTH secretion, in situ hybridization for PTH mRNA was performed. Phorbol-12, 13-dibutyrate (1 µM) qualitatively increased steady state PTH mRNA levels compared to control values. We conclude that 1) PKC stimulation increased PTH secretion at high Ca2+e, but not at low Ca2+e; 2) PKC inhibition decreased PTH secretion at low Ca2+e; and 3) PKC stimulation increased steady state PTH mRNA levels. These data suggest that PKC plays an important regulatory role in the synthesis and secretion of PTH.
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