Investigation of stimulus-secretion coupling in equine sweat gland epithelia using cell culture techniques.
When sweat glands isolated from samples of horse skin were explanted and cultured under favourable conditions, they could exhibit cellular outgrowth. This growth could be maintained for 2-4 weeks and these primary cultures were then disaggregated and the resultant cell suspensions used to initiate epithelial cell lines. Secretion from intact equine sweat glands is regulated by beta 2-adrenoceptors and appears to be mediated by cyclic AMP, but there is evidence that calcium may also play a role. Adrenaline could increase the cyclic AMP content of the cultured cells and this response was mediated by beta 2-adrenoceptors. Adrenaline was also able to evoke a small increase in intracellular free calcium ([Ca2+]i) but the pharmacology of this response remains obscure. Adrenaline thus activates at least two potentially important second-messenger signalling pathways which have the capacity to interact, because adrenaline-evoked cyclic AMP formation was inhibited if [Ca2+]i was raised with ionomycin. The chloride permeability of mammalian epithelial cells characteristically rises during secretion, and adrenaline could increase chloride permeability in the cultured epithelia but the cells did not contain cyclic-AMP-dependent chloride channels and so this response was mediated by [Ca2+]i.