Uptake of polyamines has been investigated extensively in many cells, but not in placenta, where the polyamine-polyamine oxidase system is supposed to have an immunoregulatory function in pregnancy. Due to the importance of the transfer in this tissue, we have started this study. JAR human placental choriocarcinoma cells in monolayer at confluency were used as a model for measuring the key enzymes of polyamine synthesis and interconversion, rate of uptake and efflux, and the polyamine content. Polyamines were taken up by JAR cells and released by an independent mechanism. Ornithine decarboxylase and spermidine acetyltransferase activities and the rate of transport in and out of the cell were much higher than in other cells, such as L1210 cells. However the systems used for uptake and release appear in many respects to be similar to those observed in L1210 cells, but different from others. The uptake appears to be regulated by an inhibitory protein. Moreover, protein kinase C appears to be involved in the process. The efflux also is regulated as in L1210 cells, through control of H+ and Ca2+ concentration. In conclusion, this study shows that, in JAR cells, ornithine decarboxylase and spermidine acetyltransferase activities were much higher than in other cells, and so was the rate of transport in and out of the cells. As a result, a much higher polyamine content was observed.
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