Dibucaine and tetracaine inhibit the activation of mitogen-activated protein kinase mediated by L-type calcium channels in PC12 cells

Masumi Kansha, Taro Nagata, Kazuo Irita, Shosuke Takahashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Background: An elevation of the intracellular calcium level, which is mediated by N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors and L-type Ca2+ channels both, activates the mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase signaling pathway involved in synaptic modification. It has recently been suggested that MAP kinase plays a role in coupling the synaptic excitation to gene expression in the nucleus of postsynaptic neurons. Because the effects of local anesthetics on cellular signal transduction in neuronal cells are not well-known, the authors investigated whether they affect the MAP kinase signaling pathway using PC12 cells. Methods: The cells were stimulated with either 50 mm KCl or 1 μM ionomycin, and activated MAP kinase was thus immunoprecipitated. The immunocomplexes were then subjected to an Elk1 phosphorylation assay. Both the phosphorylation of MAP kinase and the induction of c-Fos were detected by immunoblotting. Results: Pretreatment of the cells with 1 nM (ethylenedioxy)- diethyl-enedinitrilotetraacetic acid or 5 μ nifedipine blocked the MAP kinase activation induced by 50 mM KCl, whereas pretreatment with 2 μM ω- conotoxin GIVA did not. The expression of c-Fos induced by potassium chloride was also suppressed by dibucaine, tetracaine (concentrations that inhibited 50% of the activity of positive control [IC50s] were 16.2 ± 0.2 and 73.2 ± 0.7 μM, respectively), and PD 98059, a mitogen-activated/extracellular receptor-regulated kinase inhibitor. Higher concentrations of dibucaine and tetracaine were needed to suppress the activation of MAP kinase induced by ionomycin (the IC50 values of dibucaine and tetracaine were 62.5 ± 2.2 and 330.5 ± 32.8 μM, respectively) compared with potassium chloride (the IC50 values of dibucaine and tetracaine were 17.7 ± 1.0 and 70.2 ± 1.2 μM, respectively). Although probable targets of these local anesthetics might be L-type Ca2+ channels or components between Ca2+ and Ras in MAP kinase pathway, the possibility that they directly affect MAP kinase still remains. Conclusions: Dibucaine and tetracaine at clinical concentrations were found to inhibit the activation of MAP kinase and the expression of c-Fos mediated by L-type Ca2+ channels in PC12 cells. The suppression of MAP kinase pathway may thus be a potential target site for the actions of dibucaine and tetracaine, including the modification of the synaptic functions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1798-1806
Number of pages9
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1999
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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