The Journal of biological chemistry

Cluster of differentiation 38 (CD38) mediates bile acid-induced acinar cell injury and pancreatitis through cyclic ADP-ribose and intracellular calcium release.

PMID 23940051


Aberrant Ca(2+) signals within pancreatic acinar cells are an early and critical feature in acute pancreatitis, yet it is unclear how these signals are generated. An important mediator of the aberrant Ca(2+) signals due to bile acid exposure is the intracellular Ca(2+) channel ryanodine receptor. One putative activator of the ryanodine receptor is the nucleotide second messenger cyclic ADP-ribose (cADPR), which is generated by an ectoenzyme ADP-ribosyl cyclase, CD38. In this study, we examined the role of CD38 and cADPR in acinar cell Ca(2+) signals and acinar injury due to bile acids using pharmacologic inhibitors of CD38 and cADPR as well as mice deficient in Cd38 (Cd38(-/-)). Cytosolic Ca(2+) signals were imaged using live time-lapse confocal microscopy in freshly isolated mouse acinar cells during perifusion with the bile acid taurolithocholic acid 3-sulfate (TLCS; 500 μM). To focus on intracellular Ca(2+) release and to specifically exclude Ca(2+) influx, cells were perifused in Ca(2+)-free medium. Cell injury was assessed by lactate dehydrogenase leakage and propidium iodide uptake. Pretreatment with either nicotinamide (20 mM) or the cADPR antagonist 8-Br-cADPR (30 μM) abrogated TLCS-induced Ca(2+) signals and cell injury. TLCS-induced Ca(2+) release and cell injury were reduced by 30 and 95%, respectively, in Cd38-deficient acinar cells compared with wild-type cells (p < 0.05). Cd38-deficient mice were protected against a model of bile acid infusion pancreatitis. In summary, these data indicate that CD38-cADPR mediates bile acid-induced pancreatitis and acinar cell injury through aberrant intracellular Ca(2+) signaling.