Continuous infusion of cholecystokinin leads to down-regulation of the cholecystokinin-A receptor in the rat pancreas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


BACKGROUND: Infusion of sulphated cholecystokinin-8 (CCK-8S) in rats transiently increased the proliferation of pancreatic acinar cells, whereas the CCK-A receptor antagonist devazepide decreased such proliferation. This effect ceased after 3 days. CCK-8S or devazepide injected twice daily induced a persistent effect on the cell proliferation involving the major cells of the exocrine pancreas. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of continuous infusion of CCK-8S and devazepide on CCK-A receptor gene expression. METHODS: Male Sprague-Dawley rats received subcutaneous continuous infusion of 5 microg/kg/h CCK-8S, 200 microg/kg/h devazepide, or 1% bovine serum albumin (BSA) by means of osmotic minipumps. The rats were killed after 4 days; I h before being killed they received 5-bromo-2-deoxyuridine (BrdU) intraperitoneally. Plasma was collected for analysis of CCK. The pancreas was dissected, and indirect immunofluorescence for BrdU and CCK-A receptor was performed. In situ hybridization to CCK-A receptor mRNA was performed for examination and semiquantification of receptor gene expression. RESULTS: Continuous infusion of CCK-8S led to a sixfold increase in plasma CCK and a 40% increase in pancreatic weight. Devazepide did not affect the CCK level but decreased the pancreatic weight by 24% compared with BSA-infused rats. The BrdU labeling indicated that CCK-8S had no effect on cell proliferation. Immunofluorescence for the CCK-A receptor showed a decreased labeling intensity after CCK-8S infusion. The mean optical density of in situ hybridization labeling of the sections from CCK-8S-treated rats was decreased to 37% +/- 3% of that in controls. Devazepide did not affect the CCK-A receptor gene expression. CONCLUSIONS: Continuous stimulation of the CCK-A receptor led to a downregulation of the receptor gene expression in pancreatic acinar cells and decreased labeling of the receptor at immunohistochemistry. The results suggest that down-regulation of the receptor is a protective mechanism against overstimulation.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Gastroenterology and Hepatology


  • Cholecystokinin, cholecystokinin-A receptor, pancreas, receptor regulation
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)612-618
JournalScandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2000
Publication categoryResearch