Ca2+-activated Cl- channels can substitute for CFTR in stimulation of pancreatic duct bicarbonate secretion

Akos Zsembery, Mario Strazzabosco, Jürg Graf

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48 Citations (Scopus)


This study addresses the mechanisms by which a defect in CFTR impairs pancreatic duct bicarbonate secretion in cystic fibrosis. We used control (PANC-1) and CFTR-deficient (CFPAC-1; ΔF508 mutation) cell lines and measured HCO3- extrusion by the rate of recovery of intracellular pH after an alkaline load and recorded whole cell membrane currents using patch clamp techniques. 1) In PANC-1 cells, cAMP causes parallel activation of Cl- channels and of HCO3- extrusion by DIDS-sensitive and Na+-independent Cl-/HCO3- exchange, both effects being inhibited by Cl- channel blockers NPPB and glibenclamide. 2) In CFPAC-1 cells, cAMP fails to stimulate Cl-/HCO3- exchange and Cl- channels, except after promoting surface expression of ΔF508-CFTR by glycerol treatment. Instead, raising intracellular Ca2+ concentration to 1 μmol/l or stimulating purinergic receptors with ATP (10 and 100 μmol/l) leads to parallel activation of Cl- channels and HCO3- extrusion. 3) K+ channel function is required for coupling cAMP- and Ca2+-dependent Cl- channel activation to effective stimulation of Cl-/HCO3- exchange in control and CF cells, respectively. It is concluded that stimulation of pancreatic duct bicarbonate secretion via Cl-/HCO3- exchange is directly correlated to activation of apical membrane Cl- channels. Reduced bicarbonate secretion in cystic fibrosis results from defective cAMP-activated Cl- channels. This defect is partially compensated for by an increased sensitivity of CF cells to purinergic stimulation and by alternative activation of Ca2+-dependent Cl- channels, mechanisms of interest with respect to possible treatment of cystic fibrosis and of related chronic pancreatic diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2345-2356
Number of pages12
JournalFASEB Journal
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - Nov 29 2000



  • Anion exchange
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • K channel function
  • Purinergic stimulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics

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