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In addition to exerting actions via mineralocorticoid and glucocorticoid receptors, corticosteroids also act by inhibiting uptake(2), a high-capacity monoamine transport system originally described in peripheral tissues. Recent studies have demonstrated that uptake(2) transporters are expressed in the brain and play roles in monoamine clearance, suggesting that they mediate some corticosteroid effects on physiological and behavioral processes. However, the sensitivity of brain uptake(2) to many natural and synthetic corticosteroids has not been characterized. Cultured rat cerebellar granule neurons (CGNs) were previously shown to exhibit corticosterone-sensitive accumulation of the uptake(2) substrate1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP(+)). We examined the expression of uptake(1) and uptake(2) transporters in CGNs, and tested the effects of a variety of natural and synthetic corticosteroids on accumulation of [(3)H]-MPP(+) by these cells. Cultured rat CGNs expressed mRNA for three uptake(2)-like transporters: organic cation transporters 1 and 3, and the plasma membrane monoamine transporter. They did not express mRNA for the dopamine or norepinephrine transporters, and expressed very little mRNA for the serotonin reuptake transporter. Accumulation of [(3)H]-MPP(+) by CGNs was dose-dependently inhibited by corticosterone and decynium-22, known inhibitors of uptake(2). Accumulation of MPP(+) was also dose-dependently inhibited, with varying efficacies, by aldosterone, 11-deoxycorticosterone, cortisol, and cortisone, and by the synthetic glucocorticoids betamethasone, dexamethasone and prednisolone, and the glucocorticoid receptor antagonist RU38486. These studies demonstrate that uptake(2) in the CNS is inhibited by a variety of natural and synthetic corticosteroids, and suggest that inhibition of uptake(2)-mediated monoamine clearance may underlie some behavioral and physiological effects of these hormones.
Marquette University, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Milwaukee, WI 53233, USA.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Physiology & behavior
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Drugs that inhibit the transport of neurotransmitters into axon terminals or into storage vesicles within terminals. For many transmitters, uptake determines the time course of transmitter action so inhibiting uptake prolongs the activity of the transmitter. Blocking uptake may also deplete available transmitter stores. Many clinically important drugs are uptake inhibitors although the indirect reactions of the brain rather than the acute block of uptake itself is often responsible for the therapeutic effects.
Drugs that block the transport of DOPAMINE into axon terminals or into storage vesicles within terminals. Most of the ADRENERGIC UPTAKE INHIBITORS also inhibit dopamine uptake.
Compounds that specifically inhibit the reuptake of serotonin in the brain. This increases the serotonin concentration in the synaptic cleft which then activates serotonin receptors to a greater extent. These agents have been used in treatment of depression, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive behavior, and alcoholism, as analgesics, and to treat obesity and bulimia. Many of the ADRENERGIC UPTAKE INHIBITORS also inhibit serotonin uptake; they are not included here.
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