Diffusion-like process can account for protein secretion by the pancreas

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Science  15 Jun 1979:
Vol. 204, Issue 4398, pp. 1212-1215
DOI: 10.1126/science.451566


When fluid secretion by the pancreas was mechanically blocked, amylase secretion into the duct ceased. When flow was reduced in a graded fashion by the application of a back pressure, amylase output was reduced proportionately and amylase concentration in secretion was maintained constant. Thus, the secretion of digestive enzyme from the cell into the duct appears to be dependent upon the concentration of enzyme in the duct system. This behavior is most simply explained by diffusion-like (concentration dependent, bidirectional) fluxes of digestive enzyme across the plasma membrane. A unidirectional process, such as exocytosis, whose rate should be unaffected by fluid flow, cannot readily explain these results.