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Am J Physiol. 1997 Jun;272(6 Pt 1):G1425-32.

Insulin induces Ca2+ influx into isolated rat hepatocyte couplets.

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  • 1Départment de Pharmacologie, Université de Montréal, Québec, Canada.


Isolated rat hepatocyte couplets were used to study the direct effect of insulin on intracellular Ca2+ homeostasis. Insulin induced a dose-dependent increase in hepatocellular Ca2+ that was gradual, generally monophasic, and reversible. Chelation of extracellular Ca2+ abolished the insulin-induced Ca2+ response, and this suppression was not related to an effect on insulin binding, as indicated by displacement studies. We thus tested the effect of several Ca2+ channel inhibitors on insulin-induced Ca2+ influx. Verapamil at 20 or 200 microM was without effect, whereas 500 microM nickel and 50 microM gadolinium strongly inhibited insulin-induced Ca2+ entry. Finally, we tested whether insulin-induced Ca2+ movements were implicated in the stimulation of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) activity, which we measured with the use of an immune-complex assay. Verapamil was without effect on the insulin-dependent stimulation of p44mapk activity, whereas addition of ethylene glycol-bis(beta-aminoethyl ether)-N,N,N',N'-tetraacetic acid, nickel, or gadolinium strongly inhibited the effect of the peptide hormone. Our results indicate that insulin triggers Ca2+ influx into hepatocytes, possibly through the opening of channels on the plasma membrane, and that this effect is important for insulin activation of MAPK.

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