The purpose of this investigation was to elucidate the relationship of cyclic GMP and calcium to the immunologic discharge of lysosomal enzymes from purified human neutrophils. Contact of neutrophils with a variety of immunologic stimuli, including zymosan particles treated with either normal or rheumatoid arthritic (RA) serum, heat-aggregated (agg) IgG, particulate and immobilized agg IgG each treated with RA serum, and zymosan-treated serum, provoked the discharge of ß-glucuronidase, but not cytoplasmic lactate dehydrogenase, and stimulated the accumulation of cyclic GMP. Both enzyme release and elevation of cyclic GMP levels required the presence of extracellular calcium as neither cellular event proceeded in its absence. Cholinergic enhancement of the immunologic secretion of ß-glucuronidase from neutrophils by acetylcholine was associated with a concomitant accumulation of cyclic GMP. These actions of acetylcholine on neutrophils did not proceed in the absence of extracellular calcium. Whereas the concentrations of cyclic GMP in neutrophils were elevated by both immune reactants and a combination of the latter and acetylcholine, cyclic AMP levels remained unaltered. Thus, cyclic GMP, but not cyclic AMP, was associated with the immunologic and pharmacologic discharge of lysosomal enzymes from neutrophils. Contrariwise, cyclic AMP, but not cyclic GMP, was associated with inhibition of lysosomal enzyme release. For example, dibutyryl cyclic AMP and epinephrine inhibited the release of ß-glucuronidase from neutrophils that was elicited by each of the immune reactants tested. Moreover, cyclic AMP levels in the cells were elevated markedly in every instance that enzyme discharge was inhibited by epinephrine. Epinephrine did not alter the neutrophil concentrations of cyclic GMP at times when those of cyclic AMP were elevated. The data in this report constitute partial evidence that the immunologic discharge of lysosomal enzymes from human neutrophils is mediated or signaled by intracellular cyclic GMP and that calcium is linked to this stimulation of enzyme secretion.

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