Tannin, isolated from cotton bracts extract and implicated in the pathogenesis of byssinosis, inhibits adenosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate (cAMP) production and Cl- secretion in bovine airway epithelial cells in part by inhibiting adrenergic receptor binding. The purpose of this study was to determine whether tannin affected other parts of the adrenergic-cAMP signal transduction pathway by examining the effect of tannin on guanosine 5'-triphosphate (GTP)-regulatory pathways (G proteins) and on adenylate cyclase activity. cAMP production in confluent airway epithelial cells was measured in the presence of cholera toxin (100 micrograms/ml), an activator of GS proteins, and forskolin (0.1-1,000 microM), a direct activator of adenylate cyclase. Cholera toxin stimulated cAMP production; this response, however, was inhibited in cells pretreated with 50 micrograms/ml tannin. Forskolin (100 microM) stimulated cAMP production 13-fold above baseline values. Tannin pretreatment inhibited the stimulatory effect of forskolin on cAMP release in a dose-dependent manner with a tannin concentration causing 50% inhibition of 7.5 micrograms/ml. The stimulatory effect of forskolin on cAMP release was completely inhibited in cells pretreated with 50 micrograms/ml tannin. The inhibition was reversible 3 h after removal of tannin from the solution. Tannin also inhibited forskolin-stimulated adenylate cyclase activity in a dose-dependent, noncompetitive manner. We conclude that forskolin and cholera toxin stimulate cAMP production in airway epithelial cells and that tannin inhibits the production of cAMP in airway epithelial cells by a direct effect on adenylate cyclase activity.
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