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Nature. 1990 Dec 20-27;348(6303):735-8.

Cytosolic Ca2+ gradients triggering unidirectional fluid secretion from exocrine pancreas.

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  • 1Max-Planck-Institut für biophysikalische Chemie, Göttingen, Germany.

Abstract

Exocrine gland cells secrete Cl(-)-rich fluid when stimulated by neurotransmitters or hormones. This is generally ascribed to a rise in cytosolic Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i), which leads to activation of Ca2(+)-dependent ion channels. A precise understanding of Cl- secretion from these cells has been hampered by a lack of knowledge about the spatial distribution of the Ca2+ signal and of the Ca2(+)-dependent ion channels in the secreting epithelial cells. We have now used the whole-cell patch-clamp method and digital imaging of [Ca2+]i to examine the response of rat pancreatic acinar cells to acetylcholine. We found a polarization of [Ca2+]i elevation and ion channel activation, and suggest that this comprises a novel 'push-pull' mechanism for unidirectional Cl- secretion. This mechanism would represent a role for cytosolic Ca2+ gradients in cellular function. The cytosolic [Ca2+]i gradients and oscillations of many other cells could have similar roles.

PMID:
1701852
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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