Effects of steroid hormones on nicotinic acetylcholine receptor channel kinetics
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Classically steroid hormones acts through genomic mechanism. In the last period there is more evidence that some steroid hormones exert fast (in order of seconds) effects on membrane receptors. In the presented work we analysed the effects of some steroid hormones on muscle acetylcholine receptor (AChR) channel kinetics. We devided steroid hormone on two groups which exert different effects. The first group including hydrocortisone (HC), corticosterone (COR), dexamethasone decrease the mean open time increasing the number of openings in bursts. The effects do not depend on agonist concentration. Some effects of HC and COR are voltage-dependent. The mechanism of such voltage dependent action caused by steroids hormones that are uncharged molecules, is unknown. Some experiments suggest however that an agonist molecule is involved in the mechanism of steroid action. The second group consists of progesterone, some of its derivatives and deoxycorticosterone. For this group the most evident effect was decrease in the probability of openings without a decrease in the mean open time. The effect depends on agonist concentration, suggesting an involvement of an agonist molecule in the mechanism. For this hormones an involvement of an charged agonist molecule does not however induce a voltage dependency. Most probably two groups of steroids acts on different part of the AChR. The localization of a steroid action site can be crucial for inducing voltage dependency.
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E. Nurowska, Zaklad Biofizyki SGGW, ul. Rakowiecka 26/30, 02-526 Warszawa, Poland