Effect of P2X(7) receptor knockout on exocrine secretion of pancreas, salivary glands and lacrimal glands

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Ivana Novak, Ida M Jans, Louise Wohlfahrt

The purinergic P2X(7) receptors are expressed in different cell types where they have varied functions, including regulation of cell survival. The P2X(7) receptors are also expressed in exocrine glands, but their integrated role in secretion is unclear. The aim of our study was to determine whether the P2X(7) receptors affect fluid secretion in pancreas, salivary glands and tear glands. We monitored gland secretions in in vivo preparations of wild-type and P2X(7)(-/-) (Pfizer) mice stimulated with pilocarpine. In cell preparations from pancreas, parotid and lacrimal glands we measured ATP release and intracellular Ca(2+) activity using Fura-2. The data showed that pancreatic secretion and salivary secretions were reduced in P2X(7)(-/-) mice, and in contrast, tear secretion was increased in P2X(7)(-/-) mice. The secretory phenotype was also dependent on the sex of the animal, such that males were more dependent on the P2X(7) receptor expression. ATP release in all cell preparations could be elicited by carbachol and other agonists, and this was independent of the P2X(7) receptor expression. ATP and carbachol increased intracellular Ca(2+) activity, but responses depended on the gland type, presence of the P2X(7) receptor and the sex of the animal. Together, these results demonstrate that cholinergic stimulation leads to release of ATP that can via P2X(7) receptors up-regulate pancreatic and salivary secretion but down-regulate tear secretion. Our data also indicate that there is an interaction between purinergic and cholinergic receptor signalling and that function of the P2X(7) receptor is suppressed in females. We conclude that the P2X(7) receptors are important in short-term physiological regulation of exocrine gland secretion.
TidsskriftJournal of Physiology
Udgave nummerPt 18
Sider (fra-til)3615-27
Antal sider12
StatusUdgivet - 15 sep. 2010

ID: 22862860