Role of calcium in cholinergic stimulation of lacrimal Gland protein secretion

Darlene A. Dartt, Paul E. Rose, Vijaya M. Joshi, Mark Donowitz, Geoffrey W.G. Sharp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


To characterize the role of Ca2+ in cholinergic stimulation of lacrimal gland protein secretion, the effects of inhibitors of cellular Ca2+ handling on protein secretion were investigated. Protein secretion was measured from rat exorbital glands using either pieces of gland in perifusion or acini isolated by collagenase digestion. Peroxidase was used as a measure of protein secretion. An inhibitor of Ca2+ influx via voltage sensitive Ca2+ channels (verapamil) at 10-5 and 5 × 10-5 M did not alter protein secretion stimulated by the cholinergic agonist carbachol at. 10-5 M. Inhibition of Ca2+ efflux via Na+/Ca2+ exchange by removal of extracellular Na+ or by inhibition of Na+-K+ -ATPase activity using ouabain (10-3 M) or extracellular K+ removal did not stimulate protein secretion. In contrast, inhibition of Ca2+ release from intracellular stores with TMB-8 at 100 μm completely blocked protein secretion stimulated by carbachol at 10-5 M. Similarly, the Ca2+/calmodulin (CaM) antagonists W-13 and W-12 decreased carbachol-induced protein secretion with potencies similar to those which inhibit Ca2+ /CaM dependent processes. We conclude that cholinergic agonists stimulate lacrimal gland protein secretion primarily by mobilizing Ca2+ from intracellular stores and that one mechanism by which this Ca2+ could activate secretion is in conjunction with calmodulin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)475-483
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Eye Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1985
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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