Heterogeneity and contact-dependent regulation of amylase release by individual acinar cells

Journal of Cellular Physiology
D BoscoP Meda


We have used a reverse hemolytic plaque assay to investigate the amylase release of single and aggregated pancreatic acinar cells. We have found that a minority of single acinar cells released detectable amounts of amylase under basal conditions and were modestly stimulated, in a dose-dependent manner, during a 30-min exposure to concentrations of carbamylcholine (CCh) ranging from 10(-8) to 10(-5) M. This stimulation was largely accounted for by the recruitment of additional secreting cells, rather than by a significant increase in their individual secretory output. We have also observed that aggregates comprising two to five acinar cells secreted more frequently and released more amylase than single acinar cells in the presence of each of the CCh concentrations tested. Under both basal conditions and following CCh stimulation, the proportion of secreting aggregates and their amylase output increased linearly with the aggregate size. Under basal conditions as well as in the presence of secretagogue concentrations in the 10(-8) - 10(-7) M range, individual cells contributed similarly to amylase secretion whether they were single or part of aggregates. By contrast, following stimulation by 10(-6) - 10(-5) M CCh, aggregated cells...Continue Reading


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