Cyclic AMP is involved in cardioregulation by multiple neuropeptides encoded on the FMRFamide gene

Debbie Willoughby, Mark S. Yeoman, Paul R. Benjamin

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    We have used a combination of biochemical and pharmacological techniques to investigate the role of the cyclic nucleotides, 3',5'-cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cyclic AMP) and 3',5'-cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cyclic GMP), in mediating the cardioregulatory effects of FMRFamide and other neuropeptides encoded on exon II of the FMRFamide gene of Lymnaea stagnalis. The 'isoleucine' peptides (EFLRIamide and pQFYRIamide) produced complex biphasic effects on the frequency, force of contraction and tonus of the isolated heart of L. stagnalis, which were dependent on adenylate cyclase (AC) activity of the heart tissue. At a control rate of cyclic AMP production of ≤10 pmoles min-1 mg-1 protein, the 'isoleucine' peptides produced a significant increase in AC activity in heart membrane preparations. This suggested that the enhanced AC activity is responsible for the stimulatory effects of the 'isoleucine' peptides on frequency and force of contraction of heart beat. This excitation sometimes followed an initial 'inhibitory phase' where the frequency of beat, force of contraction and tonus of the heart were reduced by the 'isoleucine' peptides. Hearts that showed the inhibitory phase of the 'isoleucine' response, but characteristically lacked the delayed excitatory phase, were found to have high levels of membrane AC activity ≥10 pmoles min-1 mg-1 protein in controls. Application of the 'isoleucine' peptides to membrane homogenate preparation from these hearts failed to increase AC activity. The addition of FMRFamide produced significant increases in the rate of cyclic AMP production in the heart membrane preparations, which could account, at least in part, for the cardioexcitatory effects of this peptide in the isolated whole heart. A membrane-permeable cyclic AMP analogue (8-bromo-cyclic AMP) and an AC activator (forskolin) were also cardioexcitatory. The peptide SEEPLY had no effects on the beat properties of the isolated heart and did not alter AC activity. The activity of the membrane-bound (particulate) guanylate cyclase (GC) was not significantly affected by any of the peptides.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2595-2607
    Number of pages13
    JournalJournal of Experimental Biology
    Issue number19
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 1999


    • 3',5'-cyclic adenosine monophosphate
    • 3',5'-cyclic guanosine monophosphate
    • FMRFamide-related peptide
    • Heart
    • Lymnaea stagnalis
    • Multiple second messenger
    • Peptide signalling


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