Effects of n-alcohols on junctional coupling and amylase secretion of pancreatic acinar cells

Journal of Cellular Physiology
M ChansonP Meda


We have tested the effects of alcohols differing by their alkyl chain length on the membrane channels and amylase secretion of rat pancreatic acinar cells. In intact acini, alcohols with a chain of seven, eight, or nine carbons (C-7, C-8, and C-9) induced dye uncoupling and increased basal amylase release. These effects were readily reversible after alcohol removal. By contrast, an alcohol with a chain of 15 carbons (C-15) and several alcohols with chains of fewer than six carbons (C-2, C-4, and C-6) did not uncouple acinar cells and had no effects of amylase secretion. Neither did alkanes and oxidized derivatives of C-7 and C-8 alcohols did not affect dye coupling. Double patch-clamp experiments on pairs of acinar cells, under conditions of strong cytosolic Ca2+ and pH buffering, showed that C-7, C-8, and C-9 alcohols blocked completely and reversibly the electrical conductance of junctional channels. Furthermore, studies of single voltage-clamped acinar cells revealed that the uncoupling alcohols did not affect the resting nonjunctional membrane conductances. Thus the alcohols that did not affect acinar cells coupling did not affect amylase secretion, whereas the alcohols that caused uncoupling increased secretion. The latter...Continue Reading


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