Exocytosis in adrenal chromaffin cells

J Anat. 1993 Oct;183 ( Pt 2)(Pt 2):309-14.


Recent advances have led to an increased understanding of the Ca(2+)-signalling pathway leading to exocytosis in bovine adrenal chromaffin cells. Video-imaging studies have allowed the temporal and spatial aspects of the Ca2+ signal to be investigated in detail. Ca2+ entry at the plasma membrane appears to be crucial for the activation of exocytosis. Ca2+ can enter through the nicotinic channel or characterised voltage-activated channels, or through other poorly defined pathways due to a variety of agonists. Emptying of internal Ca2+ stores is sufficient to activate a Ca2+ entry pathway. The elevation of cytosolic Ca2+ concentration leads to a reorganisation of the cortical actin network and to the triggering of exocytosis. Studies on permeabilised chromaffin cells have resulted in the identification of some of the proteins that control Ca(2+)-dependent exocytosis. These include the peripheral plasma membrane protein annexin II and the cytosolic proteins, protein kinase C and 14-3-3 proteins (Exo1).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Actins / metabolism
  • Adrenal Glands / metabolism
  • Adrenal Glands / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Calcium / metabolism*
  • Cattle
  • Chromaffin System / metabolism
  • Chromaffin System / physiology*
  • Cytoskeleton / metabolism
  • Exocytosis / physiology*


  • Actins
  • Calcium