Polarity in intracellular calcium signaling

Ole H. Petersen, Denis Burdakov, Alexei V. Tepikin

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The concentration of free calcium ions (Ca2+) in the cytosol is precisely regulated and can be rapidly increased in response to various types of stimuli. Since Ca2+ can be used to control different processes in the same cell, the spatial organization of cytosolic Ca2+ signals is of considerable importance. Polarized cells have advantages for Ca2+ studies since localized signals can be related to particular organelles. The pancreatic acinar cell is well-characterized with a clearly polarized structure and function. Since the discovery of the intracellular Ca2+-releasing function of inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP3) in the pancreas in the early 1980s, this cell has become a popular study object and is now one of the best-characterized with regard to Ca2+ signaling properties. Stimulation of pancreatic acinar cells with the neurotransmitter acetylcholine or the hormone cholecystokinin evokes Ca2+ signals that are either local or global, depending on the agonist concentration and the length of the stimulation period. The nature of the Ca2+ transport events across the basal and apical plasma membranes as well as the involvement of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), the nucleus, the mitochondria, and the secretory granules in Ca2+ signal generation and termination have become much clearer in recent years.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)851-860
    Number of pages9
    Issue number10
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 1999


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