A two-step model of secretion control in neuroendocrine cells

Pflugers Arch. 1993 Jul;424(2):105-12. doi: 10.1007/BF00374600.


Recent experiments on a variety of neuroendocrine cells indicate that intense stimuli readily depress the secretory response. The most likely explanation for this depression is that a pool of release-ready granules is depleted. We present a two-step model of secretion that allows one to simulate the dynamics of such a pool for different time courses of free intracellular Ca concentration [Ca2+]i. We derive rate constants of the model from two types of experiment and find that, for the simplest type of model, not only the rate of consumption (exocytosis) but also the rate of vesicle supply to the pool of release-ready granules must be made Ca-dependent. Given these functional dependences a variety of results from the literature can be simulated. In particular, the model predicts the occurrence of secretory depression and augmentation under appropriate conditions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Caffeine / pharmacology
  • Calcium / physiology
  • Cattle
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chromaffin System / cytology
  • Exocytosis / physiology
  • Kinetics
  • Models, Biological
  • Neurosecretion / physiology*
  • Neurosecretory Systems / cytology*
  • Neurosecretory Systems / physiology


  • Caffeine
  • Calcium