Total RNA was extracted from acinar cells or macrophages with Trizol (Gibco, Carlsbad, CA, USA), as described [16,24].
Reverse-transcribed cDNAs were amplified using specific primers for VIP, VPAC1, VPAC2, bax, TNF-α and glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate-dehydrogenase (GAPDH) and conditions as stated previously [16,24–27]. The following sequences were used for forward and reverse primers. Bax: 5′-GGAATTCCAAGAAGCTGAGCGAGTGT-3′ and 5′-GGAATTCTTCTTCCA GATGGTGAGCGAG-3′; VPAC1: 5′-GTGAAGACCGGCTACACCAT-3′ and 5′-TGAAGAGGGCCATATCCTTG-3′; VPAC2: 5′-CCAAGTCCACACTGCTGCTA-3′ and 5′-CTCGCCATCTTCTTTTCAG-3′; VIP: 5′-TTCACCAGCGATTACAGCAG-3′ and 5′-TCACAGCCATTTGCTTTCTG-3′; TNF-α: 5′-CCTTGTTCGGCTCTCTT TTGC-3′ and 5′-AGTGATGTAGCGACAGCCTGG-3′ GAPDH: 5′-TGATGACAT CAAGAAGGTGGTGAAG-3′ 3-MA nmr and 5′-TCCTTGGAGGCCATGTAGGCCAT-3′. PCR products were size-fractionated on 2% agarose gels and visualized by staining with ethidium bromide using a size molecular marker. For real-time experiments, VIP and TNF-α expression were determined as described [26,27]. Western blot (WB) assays and confocal microscopy were used to analyse NF-κB activation in acinar cells or macrophages. For WB assays, both cytosolic and nuclear fractions were analysed independently after cell isolation. Isolated cells were washed gently and homogenized in 10 mm HEPES pH 7·9; 1 mm ethylenediamine
tetraacetic acid (EDTA); 1 mm ethylene glycol tetraacetic acid (EGTA), 5 mm sodium fluoride (NaF), 1 mm NaVO4, 1 mm dithiothreitol (DTT), 10 mm KCl, 0·5% NP-40
with protease inhibitors, as described Selleck RG7204 [16,24]. After 15 min on ice, samples were centrifuged at 8000 g for 15 min. Supernatants (cytosolic extracts) were fractionated in 12% sodium dodecyl sulphate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) gels and immunoblotted with rabbit polyclonal anti-I-κB-α or goat polyclonal anti-actin (Santa Cruz Biotechnology, CA, USA) . Nuclear extracts were obtained by resuspending pellets in 10 mm HEPES pH 7·9, 1 mm EDTA, 1 mm EGTA, 5 mm NaF, 1 mm NaVO4, 10 mm Na2MO4, 1 mm DTT and 0·4 m KCl, 20% glycerol. Proteins were fractioned on 10% SDS-PAGE gels and immunoblotted with anti-p65 or goat polyclonal anti-actin (Santa Cruz Biotechnology) Bands were revealed with peroxidase-conjugated antibodies and enhanced chemiluminescence detection system (Pierce, Histone demethylase Rockford, IL, USA). Densitometry analysis of proteins was performed with ImageQuant®. For confocal microscopy studies, acini or macrophages were fixed and permeabilized with methanol at −20°C, incubated with mouse p65 antibody (Santa Cruz Biotechnology) and FITC-conjugated anti-mouse antibody (BD Pharmingen, San Diego, CA, USA), washed and stained with 0·5 µg/ml propidium iodide (PI) and observed at confocal microscope Olympus FV 300 coupled to Olympus BX61. To study apoptosis of acinar cells WB, RT–PCR and annexin V/propidium iodide staining and cytometric detection were used.