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Auton Neurosci. 2010 Apr 19;154(1-2):102-7. doi: 10.1016/j.autneu.2009.12.005. Epub 2010 Jan 21.

Differences in the Ca2+ response resulting from neurotransmitter stimulations of rat parotid acini and ducts.

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Department of Biosciences, Kyushu Dental College, 2-6-1 Manazuru, Kokurakitaku, Kitakyushu, Fukuoka 803-8580, Japan.


There are few data available regarding the differences in intracellular Ca2+ responses of parotid acinar and ductal cells. This study investigated the Ca2+ mobilization that was induced by the chemical stimulation of acinar and ductal cells from rat parotid glands. In fura-2 loaded parotid cells, carbachol increased the intracellular Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+](i)) to a greater extent in the acinar cells than in the ductal cells, but noradrenaline increased the [Ca2+](i) in the ductal cells more than in the acinar cells. Although there was no difference in the alpha1-adrenergic receptor agonist phenylephrine-induced Ca2+ mobilization between acini and ducts, the beta-adrenergic receptor agonist isoproterenol increased the [Ca2+](i) in only the ductal cells. Additionally, the effects of non-adrenergic, non-cholinergic neurotransmitters were investigated. Substance P and ATP increased the [Ca2+](i) in parotid acini and/or ducts. A substance P-induced Ca2+ response was observed in only acini, while the ATP-induced Ca2+ response was significantly higher in ducts than in acini. These results suggest that parotid acini have a greater sensitivity to cholinergic and substance P stimulation and a lesser sensitivity to beta-adrenergic and ATP stimulation than the ductal cells. In light of these results, substance P and isoproterenol will be useful for identifying parotid acini and ducts, respectively.

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