The effect of carbamylcholine and the calcium ionophore A23187 on catecholamine release and intracellular free calcium, [Ca2+]i, in bovine adrenal chromaffin cells was determined. At 10−4M carbamylcholine maximal release occurred with an accompanying increase in [Ca2+]i from a basal level of 168 nM to less than 300 nM. An increase in [Ca2+]i of a similar magnitude was found following challenge with 40 nM A23187. However, in this case, no catecholamine release occurred. These results suggest that stimulation of secretion from chromaffin cells by carbamylcholine may involve additional triggers which stimulate secretion at low [Ca2+]i.

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