Agonist activation of arachidonate-regulated Ca2+-selective (ARC) channels in murine parotid and pancreatic acinar cells

J Physiol. 2005 May 1;564(Pt 3):791-801. doi: 10.1113/jphysiol.2005.085704. Epub 2005 Mar 10.


ARC channels (arachidonate-regulated Ca(2+)-selective channels) are a novel type of highly Ca(2+)-selective channel that are specifically activated by low concentrations of agonist-induced arachidonic acid. This activation occurs in the absence of any depletion of internal Ca(2+) stores (i.e. they are 'non-capacitative'). Previous studies in HEK293 cells have shown that these channels provide the predominant pathway for the entry of Ca(2+) seen at low agonist concentrations where oscillatory [Ca(2+)](i) signals are typically produced. In contrast, activation of the more widely studied store-operated Ca(2+) channels (e.g. CRAC channels) is only seen at higher agonist concentrations where sustained 'plateau-type'[Ca(2+)](i) responses are observed. We have now demonstrated the presence of ARC channels in both parotid and pancreatic acinar cells and shown that, again, they are specifically activated by the low concentrations of appropriate agonists (carbachol in the parotid, and both carbachol and cholecystokinin in the pancreas) that are associated with oscillatory [Ca(2+)](i) signals in these cells. Uncoupling the receptor-mediated activation of cytosolic phospholipase A(2) (cPLA(2)) with isotetrandrine reduces the activation of the ARC channels by carbachol and, correspondingly, markedly inhibits the [Ca(2+)](i) signals induced by low carbachol concentrations, whilst those signals seen at high agonist concentrations are essentially unaffected. Interestingly, in the pancreatic acinar cells, activation by cholecystokinin induces a current through the ARC channels that is only approximately 60% of that seen with carbachol. This is consistent with previous reports indicating that carbachol-induced [Ca(2+)](i) signals in these cells are much more dependent on Ca(2+) entry than are the cholecystokinin-induced responses.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arachidonic Acid / pharmacology*
  • Calcium / metabolism*
  • Calcium Channels / drug effects*
  • Calcium Channels / physiology*
  • Calcium Signaling / drug effects
  • Calcium Signaling / physiology*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Ion Channel Gating / drug effects
  • Ion Channel Gating / physiology
  • Membrane Potentials / drug effects
  • Membrane Potentials / physiology
  • Mice
  • Pancreas / drug effects
  • Pancreas / metabolism*
  • Parotid Gland / drug effects
  • Parotid Gland / metabolism*


  • Calcium Channels
  • Arachidonic Acid
  • Calcium