Airway reactivity has been shown to vary with age; however, the mechanism(s) underlying this process remain unidentified. To elucidate the role of ontogenetic changes in phosphoinositide-linked signal transduction, we examined whether age-related differences in tracheal smooth muscle (TSM) contractility to carbachol (CCh) are associated with developmental changes in the production and metabolism of the second messenger, inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (Ins (1,4,5)P3). In TSM segments isolated from 2-wk-old and adult rabbits, both the maximal isometric contractile force and sensitivity (i.e., -logED50) to CCh (10(-10)-10(-4) M) were significantly greater in the immature vs. adult tissues (P less than 0.001). Similarly, Ins(1,4,5)P3 accumulation elicited by either receptor-coupled stimulation with CCh (10(-10)-10(-4) M) or post-receptor-mediated guanine nucleotide binding protein activation of permeabilized TSM with GTP gamma S (100 microM) was also significantly enhanced in 2-wk-old vs. adult TSM. Measurement of the activities of the degradative enzymes for Ins(1,4,5)P3 demonstrated that: (a) mean +/- SE maximal Ins(1,4,5)P3 3'-kinase activity was significantly reduced in the immature vs. adult TSM (i.e., approximately 71.7 +/- 6.0 vs. 137.8 +/- 10.0 pmol/min per mg protein, respectively; P less than 0.005); (b) by contrast, maximal Ins(1,4,5)P3 5'-phosphatase activity was significantly increased in the immature vs. adult TSM (i.e., 27.9 +/- 1.2 vs. 15.6 +/- 1.5 nmol/min per mg protein, respectively; P less than 0.001); and (c) the Km values for Ins(1,4,5)P3 5'-phosphatase were 14- and 19-fold greater than those for Ins(1,4,5)P3 3'-kinase in the 2-wk-old and adult TSM, respectively. Collectively, the findings suggest that the age-related decrease in agonist-induced rabbit TSM contractility is associated with a diminution in Ins(1,4,5)P3 accumulation which is attributed, at least in part, to ontogenetic changes in the relative activities of the degradative enzymes for Ins(1,4,5)P3.
S M Rosenberg, G T Berry, J R Yandrasitz, M M Grunstein