Dexamethasone rapidly increases calcium channel subunit messenger RNA expression and high voltage-activated calcium current in clonal pituitary cells

Alla F Fomina, E. S. Levitan, K. Takimoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Scopus citations


Glucocorticoid hormones increase voltage-gated Ca2+ current density in clonal pituitary cells. To test whether these steroids might stimulate expression of Ca2+ channel genes, messenger RNase protection assays were used to measure α(1C) and α(1D) RNAs that encode pore-forming subunits of L-type Ca2+ channels. We show here that dexamethasone rapidly increases α(1C) messenger RNA expression without affecting α(1D) messenger RNA level. This up-regulation of channel messenger RNA is also produced by natural glucocorticoids and is blocked by the glucocorticoid antagonist Ru48386. The up-regulation of the channel subunit messenger RNA expression is associated with an increase in high voltage-activated Ca2+ current density. Thus, glucocorticoids may produce a long-term effect on Ca2+ homeostasis in clonal pituitary cells by differentially regulating expression of Ca2+ channel subunit genes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)857-862
Number of pages6
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1996
Externally publishedYes



  • calcium channel subunits
  • calcium currents
  • glucocorticoids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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