In dictyostelium discoideum, extracellular cAMP activates adenylate cyclase, which leads to an increase in intracellular cAMP and the rate of cAMP secretion. The signaling response to a constant cAMP stimulus is terminated after several minutes by an adaptation mechanism. The time- course of adaptation stimuli of 10(-6) or 10(-7) M cAMP was assessed. We used a perfusion technique to deliver defined cAMP stimuli to [(3)H]adenosine-labeled amoebae and monitored their secretion of [(3)H]cAMP. Amoebae were pretreated with 10(-6) or 10(-7) M cAMP to periods of 0.33-12 minutes, and then immediately given test stimuli of 10(-8) M to 2.5 x 10(-7) M cAMP. The response to a given test stimulus was progressively attenuated and finally extinguished as the duration of the pretreatment stimulus increased. During concentration of the test stimulus. The responses to test stimuli of 10(-8), 5 x 10(-8), 10(-7), or 2.5 x 10(-7) M cAMP were extinguished after approximately 1, 2.25,2.5, and 10 min, respectively. 1.5 min of stimulation with 10(-7) M cAMP was necessary to extinguish the response of a test stimulus of 10(-8) M cAMP. Our data suggest that adaptation begins within 20 s of stimulation, rises rapidly for approximately 2.5 min, and reaches a plateau after approximately 10 min. The absolute rate of rise was faster during pretreatment with 10(-6) than with 10(-7) M cAMP. These results support a working hypothesis in which the occupancy of surface cAMP receptors leads to changes in two opposing cellular processes, excitation and adaptation, that control the activity of D. discoideum adenylate cyclase.
In dictyoselium discoideum, an increase in extracellular cAMP activates adenylate cyclase, leading to an increase in intracellular cAMP and the rate of cAMP secretion. Cells adapt to any constant cAMP stimulus after several minutes, but still respond to an increase in the concentration of the stimulus. We have now characterized the decay of adaptation (deadaptation) after the removal of cAMP stimuli. Levels of adaptation were established by the perfusion of [(3)H]adenosine-labeled amoebae with a defined cAMP stimulus. After a variable recovery period, the magnitude of the signaling response to a second stimulus was measured; its attenuation was taken as a measure of residual adaption to the first stimulus. The level of adaptation established by the first stimulus depended on both its magnitude and duration. Deadaptation began as soon as the first stimulus was removed. The magnitude of the response to the second stimulus increased with the recovery time in a first-order fashion, with a t(1/2)=3-4 min for stimuli of 10(-8) M to 10(-5) M cAMP. Responses to test stimuli, although reduced in magnitude, had an accelerated time-course when they closely followed a prior response that had not completely subsided. This effect is called priming; we believe it reveals a reversible, rate-limiting step that modulates the onset and termination of the signaling responses of amoebae that have not recently responded to a cAMP stimulus. We have suggested that the cAMP signaling response is controlled by two antagonistic cellular processes, excitation and adaptation. The data reported here imply that both the rate of rise in the adaptation process and the final level reached depend on the occupancy of cAMP surface receptors and that the decay of adaptation when external cAMP is removed proceeds with first-order kinetics.