Effects of cyclic AMP and butyrate on cell cycle, DNA, RNA, and purine synthesis of cultured astrocytes

Jocelyn H. Bruce, Arnold Ramirez, Lin Lin, Ram P. Agarwal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Dibutyryl cyclic monophosphate (dBcAMP) has been shown to inhibit growth, and alter the morphology of astrocytes. However, the potential contribution of its hydrolytic product, butyrate, in inducing some of the changes that have been attributed to dBcAMP, is not clear. DNA, RNA, and purine synthesis were therefore studied in primary astrocyte cultures after 24 hours of exposure to varying concentrations of butyrate, dBcAMP, and agents that increase intracellular cAMP levels. Progression of cells through cell cycle was also studied by flow cytometry. Dibutyryl cAMP partially arrested cells in Go/G1 phase of cell cycle while sodium butyrate increased the percentage population of cells in G2/M phase. DNA synthesis and de novo purine synthesis were inhibited after treatment with dBcAMP, sodium butyrate, and various drugs that increase intracellular cAMP levels. RNA synthesis was increased with cAMP but was not affected by sodium butyrate. Our study shows that at millimolar concentrations, butyrate is capable of altering the cell cycle and inhibiting DNA synthesis in primary astrocyte cultures, in a manner that is similar although not identical to the effects of dBcAMP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)315-320
Number of pages6
JournalNeurochemical Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 1992


  • Astrocytes
  • butyrate
  • cell cycle
  • cyclic AMP
  • DNA synthesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Biochemistry


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