Receptors for neuropeptides are induced by exogenous poly(A)+ RNA in oocytes from Xenopus laevis

W Meyerhof, S D Morley, J Schwarz, D Richter

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Receptors for the hormones vasopressin, angiotensin II, and thyrotropin-releasing hormone have been studied electrophysiologically in Xenopus laevis oocytes previously injected with poly(A)+ RNA from the respective receptor-containing tissues. The injected oocytes responded to the hormones by demonstrating oscillations in membrane currents as recorded by the voltage-clamp method. The response was dependent on the hormone concentrations and detectable between 5 and 1000 nM concentrations. Size fractionation of poly(A)+ RNA from the respective tissues showed that the mRNAs encoding the three hormone receptors were larger than 18S rRNA, suggesting a length of at least 2 kilobases. When vasopressin was added to the oocyte bath, an inward membrane current was generated in oocytes injected with rat poly(A)+ RNA from liver but not from kidney. This suggests that the V1-type (liver), not the V2-type (kidney), vasopressin receptor can be expressed and electrophysiologically identified in the oocyte. A V1-specific, but not a V2-specific, antagonist suppressed the vasopressin-dependent effect. Application of angiotensin II to liver poly(A)+ RNA-injected oocytes elicited oscillations in membrane current, indicating that these oocytes also expressed receptors for angiotension II; the antagonist [Sar1, O-methionyl-Tyr4]angiotensin II blocked this effect. Poly(A)+ RNA from tumor-derived GH3B6 cells, known to contain receptors for thyrotropin-releasing hormone, injected into oocytes induced receptors responding to thyrotropin-releasing hormone; the drug chlordiazepoxide suppressed the thyrotropin-releasing hormone response.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)714-7
Number of pages4
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1988


  • Action Potentials
  • Angiotensin II
  • Angiotensin Receptor Antagonists
  • Animals
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Ion Channels
  • Liver
  • Multigene Family
  • Oocytes
  • Poly A
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Rats
  • Receptors, Angiotensin
  • Receptors, Vasopressin
  • Thyrotropin-Releasing Hormone
  • Vasopressins
  • Xenopus laevis


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