Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Gasser, Kenneth W.

Degree Name

B.S. (Bachelor of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Biological Sciences


The exocrine pancreas’ function is to synthesize and secrete a battery of enzymes in response to secretagogues. Nitric oxide (NO) is a biological messenger in a variety of tissue types, eliciting an impressive variety of biological responses. Biosynthesis of NO in the pancreas is catalyzed by two known nitric oxide synthase isoforms, NOS(I) and NOS(II). However, the role of NO in secretion from pancreatic acinar cells has been unclear. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of nitric oxide on pancreatic secretion as well as its effects on enzymes specific to the ERK signaling cascade, which leads to synthesis of additional secretory vesicles. NO was shown to significantly promote pancreatic secretion most likely through a cGMP mechanism. In addition, NO was shown to promote phosphorylation of PI3K and ERK, hence synthesis of proteins necessary for continued secretory response, via a Shc-independent mechanism.


Includes bibliographical references.


49 pages




Northern Illinois University

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