In enzymically isolated mouse pancreatic acinar cells, under conditions of whole-cell patch-clamp current recording, the effect of phospholipase C-coupled agonists can be mimicked by internal perfusion of the intracellular second messenger Ins(1,4,5)P3 (10 µM) or its analogue Ins(2,4,5)P3 (10 µM). The inositol trisphosphates mimic receptor activation by releasing Ca2+ from intracellular stores and by promoting Ca2+ influx across the surface membrane. This Ca2+-mobilizing role of inositol polyphosphates seems to be confined to the inositol trisphosphates because internal perfusion of Ins(1,3,4,5)P4 (10 µM) is not associated with any Ca2+-dependent current activation. In this study we investigate the effects of 4-bromophenacyl bromide (4BPB), a putative inhibitor of phospholipase A2 and arachadonic acid production, on inositol polyphosphate-induced Ca2+ signalling. At 10 µM, 4BPB has no effect on unstimulated Ca2+-dependent membrane currents. However, if 4BPB is applied to cells internally perfused with 10 µM Ins(1,4,5)P3 or Ins(2,4,5)P3 then the current responses are rapidly potentiated. In cells internally perfused with 10 µM Ins(1,3,4,5)P4, which has itself no effect on membrane currents, application of 4BPB resulted in the activation of Ca2+-dependent currents, seen either as repetitive spikes of current or as sustained current activations. The application of arachidonic acid blocks the current responses evoked by the inositol trisphosphates and by Ins(1,3,4,5)P4/4BPB. These results suggest that in enzymically isolated pancreatic acinar cells phospholipase A2 activity is exerting an inhibitory effect on inositol polyphosphate-mediated Ca2+ mobilization. 4BPB removes this inhibition and potentiates the responses to internally perfused inositol trisphosphates and, importantly, makes 10 µM Ins(1,3,4,5)P4 as effective as 10 µM Ins(1,4,5)P3 in mobilizing intracellular Ca2+ and in promoting Ca2+ influx.

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