The activity of cells critically depends on the control of their cytosolic free calcium ion (Ca 2+ ) concentration. The objective of the present study was to identify mechanisms of action underlying the control of the gain of intracellular Ca 2+ release by circulating gonadal steroid hormones. Acute stimulation of isolated neurons with progesterone led to IP 3 R-mediated Ca 2+ transients that depend on the activation of the PI3 kinase/Akt/PKB signaling pathway. These results were confirmed at the molecular level and phosphorylation of IP 3 R type 1 by Akt/PKB was identified as the mechanism of action. Hence, it is likely that circulating gonadal steroid hormones control neuronal activity including phosporylation status through receptor- and kinase-mediated signaling. With a direct control of the gain of the Ca 2+ second messenger system as a signaling gatekeeper for neuronal activity the present study identifies a novel pathway for interaction of the endocrine and central nervous system.
- Central nervous system
- Gonadal steroid hormone