Korean J Physiol Pharmacol.  2016 Jan;20(1):9-14. 10.4196/kjpp.2016.20.1.9.

cAMP induction by ouabain promotes endothelin-1 secretion via MAPK/ERK signaling in beating rabbit atria

  • 1Department of Physiology, School of Medicine, Yanbian University, Yanji 133-002, China. cuixun@ybu.edu.cn, cui_bairi@163.com
  • 2Key Laboratory of Organism Functional Factors of the Changbai Mountain, Ministry of Education, Yanbian University, Yanji 133-002, China.
  • 3Cellular Function Research Center, Yanbian University, Yanji 133-002, China.
  • 4KeErQinQu First People's Hospital, Tongliao, Neimenggu 028050, China.
  • 5Institue of Clinical Medicine, Yanbian University, Yanji 133000, China.


Adenosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate (cAMP) participates in the regulation of numerous cellular functions, including the Na(+)-K(+)-ATPase (sodium pump). Ouabain, used in the treatment of several heart diseases, is known to increase cAMP levels but its effects on the atrium are not understood. The aim of the present study was to examine the effect of ouabain on the regulation of atrial cAMP production and its roles in atrial endothelin-1 (ET-1) secretion in isolated perfused beating rabbit atria. Our results showed that ouabain (3.0 micromol/L) significantly increased atrial dynamics and cAMP levels during recovery period. The ouabain-increased atrial dynamics was blocked by KB-R7943 (3.0 micromol/L), an inhibitor for reverse mode of Na(+)-Ca(2+) exchangers (NCX), but did not by L-type Ca2+ channel blocker nifedipine (1.0 micromol/L) or protein kinase A (PKA) selective inhibitor H-89 (3.0 micromol/L). Ouabain also enhanced atrial intracellular cAMP production in response to forskolin and theophyline (100.0 micromol/L), an inhibitor of phosphodiesterase, potentiated the ouabain-induced increase in cAMP. Ouabain and 8-Bromo-cAMP (0.5 micromol/L) markedly increased atrial ET-1 secretion, which was blocked by H-89 and by PD98059 (30 micromol/L), an inhibitor of extracellular-signal-regulated kinase (ERK) without changing ouabain-induced atrial dynamics. Our results demonstrated that ouabain increases atrial cAMP levels and promotes atrial ET-1 secretion via the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK)/ERK signaling pathway. These findings may explain the development of cardiac hypertrophy in response to digitalis-like compounds.


Adenosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate (cAMP); Endothelin-1 (ET-1); Mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK); Ouabain
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