Intracellular emetic signaling evoked by the L-type Ca2+ channel agonist FPL64176 in the least shrew (Cryptotis parva)

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Abstract

Ca2+ plays a major role in maintaining cellular homeostasis and regulates processes including apoptotic cell death and side-effects of cancer chemotherapy including vomiting. Currently we explored the emetic mechanisms of FPL64176, an L-type Ca2+ channel (LTCC) agonist with maximal emetogenic effect at its 10mg/kg dose. FPL64176 evoked c-Fos immunoreactivity in shrew brainstem sections containing the vomit-associated nuclei, nucleus tractus solitarius (NTS) and dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus. FPL64176 also increased phosphorylation of proteins ERK1/2, PKCα/βII and Akt in the brainstem. Moreover, their corresponding inhibitors (PD98059, GF 109203X and LY294002, respectively) reduced FPL64176-evoked vomiting. A 30min subcutaneous (s.c.) pretreatment with the LTCC antagonist nifedipine (10mg/kg) abolished FPL64176-elicited vomiting, c-Fos expression, and emetic effector phosphorylation. Ryanodine receptors (RyRs) and inositol trisphosphate receptors (IP3Rs) mediate intracellular Ca2+ release from the sarcoplasmic/endoplasmic reticulum. The RyR antagonist dantrolene (i.p.), or a combination of low doses of nifedipine and dantrolene, but not the IP3R antagonist 2-APB, significantly attenuated FPL64176-induced vomiting. The serotonin type 3 receptor (5-HT3R) antagonist palonosetron (s.c.), the neurokinin 1 receptor (NK1R) antagonist netupitant (i.p.) or a combination of non-effective doses of netupitant and palonosetron showed antiemetic potential against FPL64176-evoked vomiting. Serotonin (5-HT) and substance P immunostaining revealed FPL64176-induced emesis was accompanied by an increase in 5-HT but not SP-immunoreactivity in the dorsomedial subdivision of the NTS. These findings demonstrate that Ca2+ mobilization through LTCCs and RyRs, and subsequent emetic effector phosphorylation and 5-HT release play important roles in FPL64176-induced emesis which can be prevented by 5-HT3R and NK1R antagonists.

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