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Pancreatic acinar cells secrete fluid and digestive enzymes. Both types of secretion are activated by a rise in intracellular calcium but how the stimulus-secretion cascade actually regulates secretory output is not well understood. It has long been known that the calcium response of acinar cells to physiological stimulation is complex. Dependent on the type and concentration of agonist, it consists of either local or global calcium increases as well as spreading waves of calcium across the cell. In the past it has been speculated that these different calcium signals drive different secretory responses. Now, recent employment of two photon microscopy, has enabled the simultaneous recording of both enzyme secretion and calcium signals and is beginning to resolve this issue. The data shows that local calcium responses exclusively drive fluid secretion. Where-as, global calcium responses drive both fluid and enzyme secretion. This differential control of secretory output is likely central to controlling the physiological responses of pancreatic acinar cells.
School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Queensland, St Lucia, QLD 4071, Australia.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: The international journal of biochemistry & cell biology
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A malignant tumor arising from secreting cells of a racemose gland, particularly the salivary glands. Racemose (Latin racemosus, full of clusters) refers, as does acinar (Latin acinus, grape), to small saclike dilatations in various glands. Acinar cell carcinomas are usually well differentiated and account for about 13% of the cancers arising in the parotid gland. Lymph node metastasis occurs in about 16% of cases. Local recurrences and distant metastases many years after treatment are common. This tumor appears in all age groups and is most common in women. (Stedman, 25th ed; Holland et al., Cancer Medicine, 3d ed, p1240; from DeVita Jr et al., Cancer: Principles & Practice of Oncology, 3d ed, p575)
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