Immunological identification of vesicular nucleotide transporter in intestinal L cells

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It is well established that vesicular nucleotide transporter (VNUT) is responsible for vesicular storage of nucleotides such as ATP, and that VNUT-expressing cells can secrete nucleotides upon exocytosis, playing an important role in purinergic chemical transmission. In the present study, we show that VNUT is expressed in intestinal L cells. Immunohistochemical evidence indicated that VNUT is present in glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) containing cells in rat intestine. VNUT immunoreactivity is not co-localized with GLP-1, a marker for secretory granules, and synaptophysin, a marker for synaptic-like microvesicles (SLMVs). Essentially the same results were obtained for GLUTag clonal L cells. Sucrose density gradient analysis confirmed that VNUT is present the light fraction, unlike secretory granules. These results demonstrate that intestinal L cells express VNUT in either the unidentified organelles at light density other than secretory granules and SLMVs or a subpopulation of SLMVs, and suggest that L cells are purinergic in nature and secrete nucleotides independent of GLP-1 secretion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1090-1095
Number of pages6
JournalBiological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2014


  • ATP
  • L cell
  • Purinergic transmission
  • Vesicular nucleotide transporter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science


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