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Mol Pharmacol. 2006 Jun;69(6):2037-46. Epub 2006 Mar 2.

Modulation by LL-37 of the responses of salivary glands to purinergic agonists.

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Laboratoire de Biochimie et de Biologie Cellulaire, Université libre de Bruxelles-Institut de Pharmacie C.P. 205/3, Boulevard du Triomphe, B1050 Brussels, Belgium.


The interaction of mice submandibular gland cells with LL-37 (LLGDFFRKSKEKIGKEFKRIVQRIKDFLRNLVPRTES), a cationic peptide with immunomodulatory properties, was investigated. LL-37 at a concentration that did not affect the integrity of the cells increased the uptake of calcium and activated a calcium-insensitive phospholipase A(2) (PLA(2)). The small release of ATP induced by LL-37 could not account for this stimulation because apyrase did not significantly block the response to LL-37. The divalent cation magnesium inhibited the response to LL-37, but this inhibition was probably nonspecific because it also inhibited the in vitro bacteriostatic effect of the peptide. The increase of calcium uptake by LL-37 was not affected by 1-[N,O-bis(5-isoquinolinesulfonyl)-N-methyl-L-tyrosyl]-4-phenylpiperazine (KN-62), a rather specific inhibitor of P2X(7) receptors in mice. LL-37 also increased [Ca(2+)](i) in cells from mice invalidated for these receptors. LL-37 had no effect on the response to carbachol. It inhibited the increase of [Ca(2+)](i) and the activation of phospholipase D by ATP. It potentiated the activation of the PLA(2) by the nucleotide. Finally, LL-37 increased the fluidity of the plasma membrane of submandibular gland cells. In conclusion, our results suggest that LL-37 is an autocrine regulator of submandibular gland cells. It does not stimulate mouse P2X(7) receptors but modulates their responses.

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