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Effects of sphingomyelin hydrolysis on quantal release from rat adrenal chromaffin cells Open Access


Other title
quantal release
chromaffin cell
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Yin, Jihuan
Supervisor and department
Tse, Fred (Pharmacology)
Tse, Amy (Pharmacology)
Examining committee member and department
Smith, Peter (Pharmacology)
Baker, Glen (Psychiatry)
Centre for Neuroscience

Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Science
Degree level
Sphingomyelin (SM), a sphingolipid that is concentrated in the extracellular leaflet of the plasma membrane, can interact with cholesterol to form more ordered “raft” domains. The hydrolysis of SM by sphingomyelinase (SMase) generates ceramide and may redistribute cholesterol molecules to other less ordered domains. I employed carbon fibre amperometry to examine whether SM hydrolysis affected the kinetics of release of catecholamines from individual granules of rat chromaffin cells when exocytosis was triggered by elevated extracellular [K+]. Similar to cholesterol overload, SMase treatment selectively increased the proportion of “stand-alone foot” signals and the duration of the “pre-spike foot” signals; both effects could be reduced by extraction of cellular cholesterol. In contrast, the application of an exogenous ceramide did not mimic the effects of SMase. My results suggest that SMase treatment liberated cholesterol from lipid rafts to increase the persistence of the semi-stable fusion pore before the onset of rapid dilation.
License granted by Jihuan Yin ( on 2010-07-21T20:09:50Z (GMT): Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of the above terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis, and except as herein provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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