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Am J Physiol. 1988 Feb;254(2 Pt 1):E167-74.

Development of the biphasic response to glucose in fetal and neonatal rat pancreas.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology, New York State College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca 14853.


A study on the development of biphasic insulin release and sensitivity to inhibitors has been performed using perifused rat pancreas at 19.5 days of gestation (3 days before birth) and at 3 days after birth. In the fetal pancreas, 16.7 mM glucose caused a marked stimulation of insulin release that did not, however, manifest a biphasic response and was not inhibited by verapamil, a Ca2+ channel blocker. This suggested that the immature response was due to either a lack of voltage-dependent Ca2+ channels or their failure to open in response to glucose. Depolarizing concentrations of KCl stimulated insulin release, which was inhibited by verapamil, demonstrating that functional Ca2+ channels were present. In the presence of 16.7 mM glucose, quinine, which blocks glucose-sensitive k+ channels, potentiated the response of the fetal pancreas that now became sensitive to verapamil, demonstrating that functional K+ channels were also present in the fetal pancreatic beta-cell. The immaturity of the response is not due specifically to a defect in glucose metabolism; rather the metabolism of nutrient secretagogues fails to couple with the K+ channel in the fetal islet and thus fails to depolarize the beta-cell membrane. Three days after birth the pattern of response to high glucose is biphasic. Insulin release in fetal pancreas was inhibited by epinephrine and somatostatin.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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