Extracellular ATP increases free cytosolic calcium in rat parotid acinar cells. Differences from phospholipase C-linked receptor agonists

M. K. McMillian, S. P. Soltoff, J. D. Lechleiter, L. C. Cantley, B. R. Talamo

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83 Scopus citations


The effects of extracellular ATP on intracellular free calcium concentration ([Ca2+](i), phosphatidylinositol (PtdIns) turnover, amylase release and Ca2+-activated membrane currents were examined in isolated rat parotid acinar cells and contrasted with the effects of receptor agonists known to activate phospholipase C. ATP was more effective than muscarinic and α-adrenergic agonists and substance P as a stimulus for elevating [Ca2+](i) (as measured with quin2). The ATP effect was selectively antagonized by pretreating parotid cells with the impermeant anion-exchange blocker 4,4'-di-isothiocyano-2,2'-stilbenedisulphonate (DIDS), which also inhibited binding of [α-32P]ATP to parotid cells. By elevating [Ca2+](i), ATP and the muscarinic agonist carbachol both activated Ca2+-sensitive membrane currents, which were measured by whole-cell and cell-attached patch-clamp recordings. However, there were marked contrasts between the effects of ATP and the receptor agonists linked to phospholipase C, as follows. (1) Although the combination of maximally effective concentrations of carbachol, substance P and phenylephrine had no greater effect on [Ca2+](i) than did carbachol alone, there was some additivity between maximal ATP and carbachol effects. (2) Intracellular dialysis with guanosine 5'-[β-thio]diphosphate did not block activation of ion channels by ATP, but did block channel activation by the muscarinic agonist carbachol. This suggests that a G-protein is involved in the muscarinic response, but not in the response to ATP. (3) Despite its pronounced effect on [Ca2+](i), ATP had little effect on PtdIns turnover in these cells, in contrast with the effects of carbachol and other Ca2+-mobilizing agents. (4) Although ATP was able to stimulate amylase release from parotid acinar cells, the stimulation was only 33 ± 9% of that obtained with phospholipase C-linked receptor agonists. These differences suggest that ATP increases [Ca2+](i) through specific activation of a pathway which is distinct from that shared by the classical phospholipase C-linked receptor agonists.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)291-300
Number of pages10
JournalBiochemical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1988
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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