Enhancement of aldosterone-induced catecholamine production by bone morphogenetic protein-4 through activating Rho and SAPK/JNK pathway in adrenomedullar cells

Junko Goto, Fumio Otsuka, Misuzu Yamashita, Jiro Suzuki, Hiroyuki Otani, Hiroko Takahashi, Tomoko Miyoshi, Yukari Mimura, Toshio Ogura, Hirofumi Makino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Here we investigated the effects of mineralocorticoid in the regulation of catecholamine biosynthesis using rat pheochromocytoma PC12 cells. Expression of mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) was confirmed in undifferentiated PC12 cells. Aldosterone stimulated dopamine production by PC12 cells without any increase in cAMP activity. Aldosterone-induced dopamine accumulation was enhanced in accordance with the increase in the rate-limiting enzyme tyrosine hydroxylase (TH). Blocking MR with eplerenone suppressed aldosterone-induced increases of TH mRNA and dopamine production. A glucocorticoid receptor (GR) antagonist, RU-486, attenuated dexamethasone- but not aldosterone-induced TH expression. Cycloheximide reduced both aldosterone- and dexamethasone-induced TH mRNA. A SAPK/JNK inhibitor, SP600125, suppressed aldosterone-induced TH mRNA expression; however, the aldosterone-induced TH expression was not affected by inhibition of ERK1/2, p38-MAPK, Rho-kinase, PI 3-kinase, and PKC. It was of note that cotreatment with eplerenone and SP600125 restored aldosterone-induced TH mRNA expression to basal levels. To investigate the involvement of bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) actions in aldosterone-induced catecholamine production, we examined the effects of BMP-4 and BMP-7, which are expressed in the adrenal medulla, on catecholamine biosynthesis. BMP-4 preferentially enhanced aldosterone-induced TH mRNA and dopamine production, although BMP-4 alone did not affect TH expression. The BMP-4 enhancement of aldosterone-induced TH expression was not observed in cells treated with eplerenone. BMP-4 did not affect MR expression of PC12 cells; however, it did enhance aldosterone-induced SAPK/JNK phosphorylation. Inhibition of SAPK/JNK or Rho suppressed BMP-4 enhancement of aldosterone-induced TH expression. Collectively, our findings demonstrate that aldosterone stimulates catecholamine biosynthesis in adrenomedullar cells via MR through genomic action and partly through nongenomic action by Rho-SAPK/JNK signaling, the latter of which is facilitated by BMP-4. A functional link between MR actions and endogenous BMP may be involved in the catecholamine production.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E904-E916
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2009


  • Aldosterone
  • Eplerenone
  • Mineralocorticoid receptor
  • Pheochromocytoma
  • Stress-activated protein kinase
  • c-Jun NH-terminal kinase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Enhancement of aldosterone-induced catecholamine production by bone morphogenetic protein-4 through activating Rho and SAPK/JNK pathway in adrenomedullar cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this