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To investigate factors involved in the secretion of
protoporphyrin IX (PpIX), a superficial eggshell pigment, from shell gland epithelial cells
of Japanese quail, we cultured cells in Ham’s F12 medium with calcium chloride and quail
plasma. The addition of hormones (prostaglandin F2α,
progesterone, estradiol-17β) to the
medium did not change the PpIX concentration
in the culture supernatant, but changing the calcium chloride (CaCl2) concentration did: a lower
concentration of CaCl2 led to a higher PpIX concentration; 0 mM CaCl2 enhanced
the secretion of PpIX from epithelial cells prepared at 5 or 7 mM CaCl2.
suggests that a drop in concentration of CaCl2 mimics the end of
shell calcification and stimulates
rapid secretion of PpIX in vivo.
Bovine serum albumin was almost as effective