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Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2001 Sep;25(3):306-15.

Secretion in alveolar type II cells at the interface of constitutive and regulated exocytosis.

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Department of Physiology, University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria.


Long-term, simultaneous, measurements of cytoplasmic free Ca(2+) concentrations and single exocytotic fusion events in surfactant-secreting type II cells were performed. All fusion (constitutive, phorbol ester-induced, and agonist-induced) was Ca(2+)-dependent. Kinetic analysis revealed that agonist (adenosine triphosphate [ATP])-induced fusion exhibited a kinetic pattern that correlated well with the Ca(2+) signal. The effects of Ca(2+) release from intracellular stores (early) and Ca(2+) entry (late) could be demonstrated for the first time by dissecting the slow (10-to-15-min) fusion response to ATP into these two components. Bath Ba(2+) or Sr(2+) could replace Ca(2+) to elicit a fusion response in thapsigargin-pretreated cells lacking ATP-induced Ca(2+) release from stores. Although the late response was partially inhibited by interrupting the phospholipase D-protein kinase C axis, a high Ca(2+) dependence of the entire secretory course was demonstrated by a significant correlation between the integrated Ca(2+) signal and the fusion response. There was also a highly significant correlation between constitutive and ATP-stimulated fusion activity in individual cells. We propose a common mechanistic model for all types of fusion in this slow secretory cell, in which constitutive and regulated forms of exocytosis are subject to the same principles of regulation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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