Mechanisms of pertussis toxin-induced barrier dysfunction in bovine pulmonary artery endothelial cell monolayers

C. E. Patterson, J. E. Stasek, K. L. Schaphorst, H. W. Davis, J. G.N. Garcia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


We have previously characterized several G proteins in endothelial cells (EC) as substrates for the ADP-ribosyltransferase activity of both pertussis (PT) and cholera toxin and described the modulation of key EC physiological responses, including gap formation and barrier function, by these toxins. In this study, we investigated the mechanisms involved in PT-mediated regulation of bovine pulmonary artery endothelial cells barrier function. PT caused a dose-dependent increase in albumin transfer, dependent upon action of the holotoxin, since neither the heat-inactivated PT, the isolated oligomer, nor the protomer induced EC permeability. PT-induced gap formation and barrier dysfunction were additive to either thrombin- or thrombin receptor-activating peptide-induced permeability, suggesting that thrombin and PT utilize distinct mechanisms. PT did not result in Ca2+ mobilization or alter either basal or thrombin-induced myosin light chain phosphorylation. However, PT stimulated protein kinase C (PKC) activation, and both PKC downregulation and PKC inhibition attenuated PT-induced permeability, indicating that PKC activity is involved in PT-induced barrier dysfunction. Like thrombin- induced permeability, the PT effect was blocked by prior increases in adenosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate. Thus PT-catalyzed ADP-ribosylation of a G protein (possibly other than G(i)) may regulate cytoskeletal protein interactions, leading to EC barrier dysfunction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L926-L934
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Issue number6 12-6
StatePublished - 1995


  • lung edema
  • protein kinase A
  • protein kinase C
  • vascular permeability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Mechanisms of pertussis toxin-induced barrier dysfunction in bovine pulmonary artery endothelial cell monolayers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this