We have studied the effect of neutralizing the surface charge of rat glomerular epithelial cells (GEC) in culture on prostanoid production. Incubation of rat GEC with polycations poly-L-lysine (PL) resulted in a dose dependent increase of 6-keto-PGF(1α) (up to 8 to 10-fold) and PGE2 (up to 7 to 8-fold) production. Other polycations such as protamine sulfate (PS) and lysozyme (LY) produced a similar effect. The stimulation of prostaglandin (PG) production by PL treated GEC was prevented by the addition of polyanions such as bovine serum albumin (BSA) and heparin (HP). The effect of PL on prostaglandin (PG) synthesis by GEC was suppressed by the cyclooxygenase inhibitor sulindac sulfide. Addition of exogenous arachidonic acid (C20:4) increased the basal production of PG and under these conditions the effect of PL was masked. We conclude that neutralization of the surface charge of rat GEC by polycations results in profound increase of prostanoid synthesis. The polycation caused increase in PG synthesis appears to be the result of increased availability of intracellular C20:4.
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