Induction of Enzymes by Glucocorticoids and Catecholamines in a Rat Glial Cell Line

  • Jean de Vellis
  • Gary Brooker
Part of the Current Topics in Neurobiology book series (CTNB)


The rat brain glial tumor cell line RGC6 was originally selected for its high content of S100, a nervous tissue-specific protein (Benda et al., 1968). Subsequently, this cell line was shown to have retained other characteristic properties of brain tissue, such as the glycerol phosphate dehydrogenase induction by Cortisol (de Vellis and Inglish, 1969). Although not all tissues have been tested, this induction appears to be brain specific (de Vellis and Inglish, 1968). In addition, de Vellis and Inglish found that catecholamines induced lactic dehydrogenase in RGC6 cells but not in several other cell lines (de Vellis and Inglish, 1969; de Vellis et al., 1971b) Catecholamines, as we shall see later, also cause a large increase in the intracellular concentration of cyclic AMP. The magnitude of the response appears to be unique to nervous tissue, which has the highest level of adenylcyclase and phosphodiesterase (for review, see Robison et al., 1971). The function of cyclic AMP in the nervous system remains largely speculative. More generally, the role of hormones in the acquisition and maintenance of differention and functions of nervous tissue is still far from being understood (de Vellis and Clemente, 1970). In this chapter, we will discuss RGC6 cells as target cells for glucocorticoids and catecholamines, a rather unique opportunity to contrast the mechanisms of action of these two hormones in the same cell line. Furthermore, studies of these hormonal factors and, of course, S100 protein may provide insights into the functions of glial cells, which are essentially unknown except for the role of oligodendrocytes and Schwann cells in myelination of axons.


RGC6 Cell Human Astrocytoma Cell Glycerol Phosphate Dehydrogenase Glycerolphosphate Dehydrogenase Mitochondrial Glycerol Phosphate 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1973

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jean de Vellis
    • 1
  • Gary Brooker
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratory of Nuclear Medicine and Radiation Biology and Department of AnatomyUniversity of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Department of Pharmacology, School of MedicineUniversity of VirginiaCharlottesvilleUSA

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