J Korean Dent Sci.  2017 Dec;10(2):45-52. 10.5856/JKDS.2017.10.2.45.

Calcium Signaling in Salivary Secretion

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Physiology, School of Dentistry and Dental Research Institute, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea. kppark@snu.ac.kr

Abstract

Calcium has versatile roles in diverse physiological functions. Among these functions, intracellular Ca²⁺ plays a key role during the secretion of salivary glands. In this review, we introduce the diverse cellular components involved in the saliva secretion and related dynamic intracellular Ca²⁺ signals. Calcium acts as a critical second messenger for channel activation, protein translocation, and volume regulation, which are essential events for achieving the salivary secretion. In the secretory process, Ca²⁺ activates K⁺ and Cl⁻ channels to transport water and electrolyte constituting whole saliva. We also focus on the Ca²⁺ signals from intracellular stores with discussion about detailed molecular mechanism underlying the generation of characteristic Ca²⁺ patterns. In particular, inositol triphosphate signal is a main trigger for inducing Ca²⁺ signals required for the salivary gland functions. The biphasic response of inositol triphosphate receptor and Ca²⁺ pumps generate a self-limiting pattern of Ca²⁺ efflux, resulting in Ca²⁺ oscillations. The regenerative Ca²⁺ oscillations have been detected in salivary gland cells, but the exact mechanism and function of the signals need to be elucidated. In future, we expect that further investigations will be performed toward better understanding of the spatiotemporal role of Ca²⁺ signals in regulating salivary secretion.

Keyword

Calcium-activated chloride channels; Calcium oscillations; Calcium signaling; Inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptors; Salivary glands; Salivation
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