In the eel, angiotensin II (Ang II) has a role at the level of both gill chloride and kidney tubular cells, regulating sodium balance and therefore osmoregulation. The present study extends these findings to another important osmoregulatory organ - the intestine. Enterocytes were obtained from sea-water (SW)-acclimated eels to investigate the role of Ang II on the intestinal Na+/K+ ATPase activity, because in SW-acclimated animals the intestine represents an important site of water and NaCl transport from the mucosal to the serosal side. This paper demonstrates that isolated enterocytes stimulated with increasing Ang II concentrations (0.01-100 nM) showed a dose-dependent inhibition of the Na+/K+ATPase activity. The threshold decrease was at 0.01 nM Ang II; it reached a maximum at 10 nM (81.5% inhibition) and did not decrease further with the use of higher hormone doses. These hormonal effects were blocked by a specific competitive antagonist of the AT1 receptor subtype, DuP-753 (100% inhibition at 10 μM), indicating that these effects are mediated by an AT1-like receptor. Isolated enterocytes stimulated with 10 nM Ang II showed a transient increase in intracellular calcium ([Ca2+]i), followed by a lower sustained phase. Removal of extracellular Ca2+ did not reduce the initial transient response and completely abolished the plateau phase. The inhibition of the Na+/ K+ATPase activity was dependent on protein kinase C (PKC) activation since PKC antagonists (calphostin C and staurosporine) abolished the inhibitory effect of Ang II, and the PKC activator phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate reduced transporter activity. Western blot analysis with antibodies to PKC α, βI, βII, γ, δ, ε, ι, η and ζ isoforms showed that eel enterocytes expressed the conventional isoforms (α and βI), the novel isoforms (δ and η) and the atypical isoforms (ζ and ι). Ang II stimulated the translocation from the cytosol to the plasma membrane of PKC α, PKC δ and PKC η isoforms. In conclusion, our results suggest that Ang II modulates intestinal Na+/K+ATPase in SW-acclimated eels via calcium mobilization and PKC activation.
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