Evidence for sustained ATP release from liver cells that is not mediated by vesicular exocytosis

Svjetlana Dolovcak, Shar L. Waldrop, Feng Xiao, Gordan Kilic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations


Extracellular ATP regulates many important cellular functions in the liver by stimulating purinergic receptors. Recent studies have shown that rapid exocytosis of ATP-enriched vesicles contributes to ATP release from liver cells. However, this rapid ATP release is transient, and ceases in ~30 s after the exposure to hypotonic solution. The purpose of these studies was to assess the role of vesicular exocytosis in sustained ATP release. An exposure to hypotonic solution evoked sustained ATP release that persisted for more than 15 min after the exposure. Using FM1-43 (N-(3-triethylammoniumpropyl)-4-(4-(dibutylamino)styryl)pyridinium dibromide) fluorescence to measure exocytosis, we found that hypotonic solution stimulated a transient increase in FM1-43 fluorescence that lasted ~2 min. Notably, the rate of FM1-43 fluorescence and the magnitude of ATP release were not correlated, indicating that vesicular exocytosis may not mediate sustained ATP release from liver cells. Interestingly, mefloquine potently inhibited sustained ATP release, but did not inhibit an increase in FM1-43 fluorescence evoked by hypotonic solution. Consistent with these findings, when exocytosis of ATP-enriched vesicles was specifically stimulated by 5-nitro-2-(3-phenylpropylamino)benzoic acid (NPPB), mefloquine failed to inhibit ATP release evoked by NPPB. Thus, mefloquine can pharmacologically dissociate sustained ATP release and vesicular exocytosis. These results suggest that a distinct mefloquine-sensitive membrane ATP transport may contribute to sustained ATP release from liver cells. This novel mechanism of membrane ATP transport may play an important role in the regulation of purinergic signaling in liver cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)435-446
Number of pages12
JournalPurinergic Signalling
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2011


  • ATP release
  • Bioluminescence
  • Exocytosis
  • FM1-43 fluorescence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Cell Biology

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