Intracellular Ca2+ stores in rat submandibular acinar cells were characterized using the Ca2+-sensitive fluorescent indicator fura 2 and the radiotracer 45Ca2+. Acetylcholine induced a rapid Ca2+ release from a store sensitive to inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP3) and to thapsigargin (TG). After this store was presumably depleted, ionomycin caused a further increase in cytosolic free Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i), suggesting the presence of an IP3-insensitive Ca2+ release from a store that is more extensive and heterogeneous than the IP3-sensitive one and includes a small mitochondrial component. After both of these stores had been discharged, exposure to monensin caused an additional release of Ca2+ from a third store. This store appears to be associated with secretory granules, since Ca2+ release was significantly reduced when degranulation was induced by isoprenaline. This third store appears to be insensitive to IP3, discharges Ca2+ when the pH gradient across the limiting membrane is collapsed with monensin and only in the presence of both ionomycin and monensin. Ca2+ release from this store is not by Na+/Ca2+ exchange, since simply altering [Na+]i did not cause significant Ca2+ release. In permeabilized cells, IP3 and TG released approx. 35% of 45Ca2+, and ionomycin released an additional 57%, whereas monensin only caused a small additional release, suggesting that only IP3- and ionomycin-sensitive stores are loaded with 45Ca2+ under these conditions. The absence of significant isotope uptake into the ionomycin+monensin-sensitive store may result from a low rate of tracer accumulation or from the lack of Ca2+ pumps in the store. The pattern of response was similar in the presence and absence of mitochondrial inhibitors, indicating that the store is not located in mitochondria. In summary, these results suggest that a substantial IP3-insensitive Ca2+ store is present in secretory granules in rat submandibular acinar cells.

This content is only available as a PDF.