McAlroy, H.L., Ahmed, S., Day, S.M., Baines, D.L., Wong, H.Y., Yip, C.Y., Ko, W.H., Wilson, S.M. and Collett, Andrew (2000) Multiple P2Y receptor subtypes in the apical membranes of polarized epithelial cells. British Journal of Pharmacology, 131 (8). pp. 1651-1658. ISSN 0007-1188

Apical ATP, ATP, UTP and UDP evoked transient increases in short circuit current (ISC, a direct measure of transepithelial ion transport) in confluent Caco-2 cells grown on permeable supports. These responses were mediated by a population of at least three pharmacologically distinct receptors.

Experiments using cells grown on glass coverslips showed that ATP and UTP consistently increased intracellular free calcium ([Ca2+]i) whilst sensitivity to UDP was variable. Cross desensitization experiments suggested that the responses to UTP and ATP were mediated by a common receptor population.

Messenger RNA transcripts corresponding to the P2Y2, P2Y4 and P2Y6 receptors genes were detected in cells grown on Transwell membranes by the reverse transcriptase–polymerase chain reaction. Identical results were obtained for cells grown on glass.

Experiments in which ISC and [Ca2+]i were monitored simultaneously in cells on Transwell membranes, confirmed that apical ATP and UTP increased both parameters and showed that the UDP-evoked increase in ISC was accompanied by a [Ca2+]i-signal.

Ionomycin consistently increased [Ca2+]i in such polarized cells but caused no discernible change in ISC. However, subsequent application of apical ATP or UTP evoked a small rise in ISC but no rise in [Ca2+]i. UDP evoked no such response.

As well as evoking increases in [Ca2+]i, the ATP/UTP-sensitive receptors present in Caco-2 cells thus allow direct control over ion channels in the apical membrane. The UDP-sensitive receptors, however, appear to simply evoke a rise in [Ca2+]i.

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