Aluminum (Al) is believed to exert a primary role in the neurotoxicity associated with dialysis encephalopathy and has been suggested to be involved in a number of other neurological disorders, including Alzheimer's disease. Al, complexed with fluoride to form fluoroaluminate (AlF4-), can activate the GTP-binding (G) proteins of the adenylate cyclase and retinal cyclic GMP phosphodiesterase systems. Since an involvement of G-proteins with cerebral phosphoinositide (PtdIns) metabolism has also been suggested, in this study we investigated the interaction of the stable GTP analogue GTP(S), Al salts and NaF with this system. In rat cerebral cortical membranes, GTP(S) dose-dependently stimulated [3H]inositol phosphates ([3H]InsPs) accumulation. This effect was potentiated by carbachol and was partially prevented by the GTP-binding antagonist GDP(S), indicating that CNS muscarinic receptor activation is coupled to PtdIns hydrolysis via putative G-protein(s). GTP(S) stimulation was also inhibited by phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA), an activator of protein kinase C, which is known to exert a negative feedback control on agonist-stimulated PtdIns metabolism. Both Al salts and NaF mimicked the action of GTP(S) in stimulating PtdIns turnover. Their actions were highly synergistic, suggesting that AlF4- could be the active stimulatory species. However, the stimulatory effects of AlCl3 and/or NaF were not potentiated by carbachol and were not inhibited by GDP(S) and PMA, suggesting that separate sites of action might exist for GTP(S) and AlF4-. In the nervous tissue, activation of PtdIns hydrolysis by Al (probably as AlF4-) may be mediated by activating a regulatory G-protein at a location distinct from the GTP-binding site or by a direct stimulation of phospholipase C.
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