We have previously shown that epidermal growth factor (EGF) augments cAMP accumulation in the heart and stimulates cardiac adenylyl cyclase via a G protein mediated mechanism (Nair et al., 1989). More recently, employing an antibody against the carboxy-terminus decapeptide of Gs alpha, we have demonstrated that Gs alpha mediates the effects of EGF on cardiac adenylyl cyclase (Nair et al., 1990). Since the heart comprises of a variety of cell types, the purpose of the studies presented here was to determine whether or not the effects of EGF on adenylyl cyclase were mediated in cardiac myocytes or noncardiomyocytes. Therefore, cultures of ventricular cardiomyocytes and noncardiomyocytes from neonatal rat hearts were established and characterized. Apart from the differences in cellular morphology, cardiomyocytes but not the noncardiomyocytes employed in our studies expressed the alpha- and beta-myosin heavy chain (MHC) mRNA and the beta-MHC protein. Additionally, as described previously, treatment of cardiomyocytes with thyroid hormone increased alpha-MHC mRNA and decreased the expression of beta-MHC mRNA, indicating that the cardiomyocytes employed in our studies were responding in a physiologically relevant manner. EGF in a time-dependent manner increased cAMP accumulation in the cardiomyocytes but not in noncardiomyocytes. Maximum and half-maximum effects were observed at 100 nM and 2 nM concentrations of EGF, respectively. As determined by the presence of immunoreactive EGF receptors and tyrosine phosphorylation of the 170 kDa protein in membranes of cardiomyocytes and noncardiomyocytes, both the cell populations contained functional EGF receptors. Therefore, the differential effects of EGF on cAMP accumulation in the two cell populations appear to be due to differential coupling of the EGF receptors to the adenylyl cyclase system rather than the absence of EGF receptors in noncardiomyocytes. Consistent with our previous findings in isolated membranes and perfused rat hearts, EGF-elicited increase in cAMP accumulation in cardiomyocytes did not involve activation of beta-adrenoreceptors and was abolished by prior treatment of cells with cholera toxin. Overall, our findings demonstrate that EGF-elicited increase in cAMP accumulation in the heart is the reflection of changes in cAMP content of cardiomyocytes and not noncardiomyocytes.
Yiming Yu, Dr. Bipin G. Nair, and Tarun B Patel, “Epidermal growth factor stimulates cAMP accumulation in cultured rat cardiac myocytes”, Journal of cellular physiology, vol. 150, pp. 559–567, 1992.