The physiological role of the thromboxane A2 (TXA2) receptor expressed on glial cells remains unclear. We previously reported that 1321N1 human astrocytoma cells pretreated with dibutyryl cyclic AMP (dbcAMP) became swollen in response to U46619, a TXA2 analogue. In the present study, we examined the detailed mechanisms of TXA2 receptor-mediated cell swelling in 1321N1 cells. The cell swelling caused by U46619 was suppressed by expression of p115-RGS, an inhibitory peptide of Gα12/13 pathway and C3 toxin, an inhibitory protein for RhoA. The swelling was also inhibited by treatment with Y27632, a Rho kinase inhibitor and 5-(ethyl-N-isopropyl)amiloride (EIPA), a Na+/H+-exchanger inhibitor. Furthermore, cell swelling was suppressed by the pretreatment with aquaporin inhibitors mercury chloride or phloretin in a concentration-dependent manner, suggesting that aquaporins are involved in U46619-induced 1321N1 cell swelling. In fact, U46619 caused [3H]H2O influx into the cells, which was inhibited by p115-RGS, C3 toxin, EIPA, mercury chloride and phloretin. This is the first report that the TXA2 receptor mediates water influx through aquaporins in astrocytoma cells via TXA2 receptor-mediated activation of Gα12/13, Rho A, Rho kinase and Na+/H+-exchanger.
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