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Cannabinoid receptors in submandibular acinar cells

Cannabinoid receptors in submandibular acinar cells: functional coupling between saliva fluid and electrolytes secretion and Ca2+ signalling

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  • Olga Kopach
  • Juliana Vats
  • Olga Netsyk
  • Nana Voitenko
  • Andrew Irving
  • Nataliya Fedirko

Research units


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1884-1895
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Cell Science
Issue number8
StatePublished - 15 Apr 2012


Cannabinoid receptors (CBRs) belong to the G protein-coupled receptor superfamily, and activation of CBRs in salivary cells inhibits agonist-stimulated salivation and modifies saliva content. However, the role of different CBR subtypes in acinar cell physiology and in intracellular signalling remains unclear. Here, we uncover functional CB(1)Rs and CB(2)Rs in acinar cells of rat submandibular gland and their essential role in saliva secretion. Pharmacological activation of CB(1)Rs and CB(2)Rs in the submandibular gland suppressed saliva outflow and modified saliva content produced by the submandibular gland in vivo. Using Na+-selective microelectrodes to record secretory Na+ responses in the lumen of acini, we observed a reduction in Na+ transport following the activation of CBRs, which was counteracted by the selective CB1R antagonist AM251. In addition, activation of CB(1)Rs or CB(2)Rs caused inhibition of Na+-K+-ATPase activity in microsomes derived from the gland tissue as well as in isolated acinar cells. Using a Ca2+ imaging technique, we showed that activation of CB(1)Rs and CB(2)Rs alters [Ca2+](cyt) signalling in acinar cells by distinct pathways, involving Ca2+ release from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and store-operated Ca2+ entry (SOCE), respectively. Our data demonstrate the expression of CB(1)Rs and CB(2)Rs in acinar cells, and their involvement in the regulation of salivary gland functioning.</p>



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