G protein-coupled estrogen receptor 1-mediated effects in the rat myometrium.
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G protein-coupled estrogen receptor 1 (GPER), also named GPR30, has been previously identified in the female reproductive system. In this study, GPER expression was found in the female rat myometrium by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction and immunocytochemistry. Using GPER-selective ligands, we assessed the effects of the GPER activation on resting membrane potential and cytosolic Ca(2+) concentration ([Ca(2+)](i)) in rat myometrial cells, as well as on contractility of rat uterine strips. G-1, a specific GPER agonist, induced a concentration-dependent depolarization and increase in [Ca(2+)](i) in myometrial cells. The depolarization was abolished in Na(+)-free saline. G-1-induced [Ca(2+)](i) increase was markedly decreased by nifedipine, a L-type Ca(2+) channel blocker, by Ca(2+)-free or Na(+)-free saline. Intracellular administration of G-1 produced a faster and transitory increase in [Ca(2+)](i), with a higher amplitude than that induced by extracellular application, supporting an intracellular localization of the functional GPER in myometrial cells. Depletion of internal Ca(2+) stores with thapsigargin produced a robust store-activated Ca(2+) entry; the Ca(2+) response to G-1 was similar to the constitutive Ca(2+) entry and did not seem to involve store-operated Ca(2+) entry. In rat uterine strips, administration of G-1 increased the frequency and amplitude of contractions and the area under the contractility curve. The effects of G-1 on membrane potential, [Ca(2+)](i), and uterine contractility were prevented by pretreatment with G-15, a GPER antagonist, further supporting the involvement of GPER in these responses. Taken together, our results indicate that GPER is expressed and functional in rat myometrium. GPER activation produces depolarization, elevates [Ca(2+)](i) and increases contractility in myometrial cells.