In order to control cell functions, hormones and neurotransmitters generate an amazing diversity of Ca2+ signals such as local and global Ca2+ elevations and also Ca2+ oscillations. In pancreatic acinar cells, cholecystokinin (CCK) stimulates secretion of digestive enzyme and promotes cell growth, whereas acetylcholine (ACh) essentially triggers enzyme secretion. Pancreatic acinar cells are a classic model for the study of CCK- and ACh-evoked specific Ca2+ signals. In addition to inositol 1,4,5 trisphosphate (IP), recent studies have shown that cyclic ADPribose (cADPr) and nicotinic acid adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NAADP) release Ca2+ in pancreatic acinar cells. Moreover, it has also been shown that both ACh and CCK trigger Ca2+ spikes by co-activation of IP and ryanodine receptors but by different means. ACh uses IP and Ca2+, whereas CCK uses cADPr and NAADP. In addition, CCK activates phospholipase A and D. The concept emerging from these studies is that agonist-specific Ca2+ signals in a single target cell are generated by combination of different intracellular messengers.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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