Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.394, No.4, 1058-1062, 2010
The role of ERK-1/2 in the N/OFQ-induced inhibition of delayed rectifier potassium currents
Nociceptin/orphanin FQ (N/OFQ) is an endogenous opioid-like heptadecapeptide involved in many neurocognitive functions, including learning and memory. Our previous report showed that N/OFQ inhibits the delayed rectifier potassium current (I-kappa), and this effect is associated with protein kinase C (PKC) activation. Therefore, we wanted to determine if extracellular signal-regulated kinase-1/2 (ERK-1/2) signaling is regulated by N/OFQ and associated with the effect of N/OFQ on the I-kappa. In the current study, we tested if N/OFQ and two PKC activators [phorbol 12,13-dibutyrate (PDBu) and ingenol 3,20-dibenzoate (IDB)] affected the phosphorylation level of ERK-1/2 and its nuclear substrate, ETS-like transcription factor-1 (Elk-1), using western blots. In addition, we tested if ERK-1/2 affected the N/OFQ-induced inhibition of the I-kappa by using whole-cell patch-clamp recordings in acutely dissociated rat parietal cortical neurons. We found that N/OFQ PDBu, and IDB increased the amount of phosphorylated ERK-1/2 and Elk-1; U0126, a specific inhibitor for ERK-1/2, attenuated the inhibitory effect of N/OFQ on the I-kappa. These data suggest that the ERK-1/2 pathway, at least in part, mediates the inhibitory effect of N/OFQ on the I-kappa in acutely dissociated rat cerebral parietal cortical neurons. (C) 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.