Off-campus UMass Amherst users: To download dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your UMass Amherst user name and password.

Non-UMass Amherst users, please click the view more button below to purchase a copy of this dissertation from Proquest.

(Some titles may also be available free of charge in our Open Access Dissertation Collection, so please check there first.)

An analysis of the desensitization of PC12 cells to ATP

Jerry Russel Keath, University of Massachusetts Amherst


The factors controlling desensitization to ATP stimulation were investigated in PC12 cells. Reducing the concentration of ATP to produce half maximal response reduced the degree to which cells desensitize to ATP. Increasing external Me concentration, which produced a comparable decrease in the secretory response of the cells, had no effect on the degree of desensitization. Neither did decreasing external Ca2+ concentration, which produced a similar decrease in secretory response. Desensitizing cells in 0.5 mM Ca2+ did not result in a corresponding decrease in response when cells were subsequently tested in 2.2 mM Ca2+. PC12 cells desensitized in 2.2 mM Ca2+ were found to show the same degree of desensitization when tested in 0.5 mM Ca2+. A similar pattern was found when desensitization to 30 and 300 uM ATP was examined. The role of the ATP receptor subtypes, P2x and P2y, was studied using the ATP agonists 2-MeS ATP and UTP, respectively. 60 uM 2-MeS ATP was found to cause desensitization to the same degree as 30 uM ATP. As with ATP, the initial response to 2-MeS ATP was found to be sensitive to changes in external Mg2+. Unlike ATP, the desensitization to 2-MeS ATP was sensitive to changes in external Mg2+. When cells were co-stimulated with 2-MeS ATP and UTP, the sensitivity of 2-MeS ATP desensitization to Mg2+ remained. UTP in the background solution, however, increased desensitization to ATP and 2-MeS ATP. The effect of voltage-operated Ca2+ channel (VOCC) blockers on the response and desensitization to ATP and 2-MeS ATP was examined. Cd2+ produced a significant increase in the secretory response to both stimulants. Both nicardipine and Cd2+ increased the rate of desensitization to ATP. Only nicardipine was able to increase the rate of desensitization to 2-MeS ATP. These results were integrated to provide insights into the relationship between ATP receptors and VOCCs.

Subject Area

Neurology|Molecular biology|Cellular biology

Recommended Citation

Keath, Jerry Russel, "An analysis of the desensitization of PC12 cells to ATP" (2000). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI9988806.