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Pharmacol Toxicol. 2002 Dec;91(6):327-32.

Human pancreatic acinar cells do not respond to cholecystokinin.

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Department of Physiology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-0622, USA.


Pancreatic secretion can be influenced by cholecystokinin (CCK) either directly via actions on acinar cells or indirectly via actions on nerves. The presence and functional roles of CCK receptors on human pancreatic acinar cells remains unclear. In the current study human pancreatic acini were isolated and then treated with CCK-8, gastrin and/or carbachol. Functional parameters were measured including intracellular [Ca2+] and amylase secretion. It was observed that human acini did not respond to CCK agonists but did respond to carbachol with robust increases in functional parameters. Adenoviral-mediated gene transfer of CCK1 or CCK2 receptors to the human cells resulted in cell responses to CCK agonists. In order to determine the reason for the lack of responsiveness of the human acini, expression of receptor mRNAs was determined using quantitative RT-PCR and localized by in situ hybridization. mRNA levels for CCK1 receptors were approximately 30 times lower than those of CCK2 receptors, which were approximately 10 times lower than those of m3 Ach receptors as measured by quantitative PCR. Neither CCK1 nor CCK2 receptors were localized in adult human pancreas by in situ hybridization. These results indicate that human pancreatic acinar cells do not respond directly to CCK receptor activation and this is likely due to an insufficient level of receptor expression.

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