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Diabetologia. 1998 Mar;41(3):279-86.

Repetitive mitochondrial Ca2+ signals synchronize with cytosolic Ca2+ oscillations in the pancreatic beta-cell line, MIN6.

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  • 1First Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Kagoshima University, Japan.


We examined the relationship between cytosolic Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]c) and mitochondrial matrix Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]m) in the pancreatic beta-cell line, MIN6. [Ca2+]c was monitored in a single or a group (30 cells) of fura-2-loaded MIN6 cells, and [Ca2+]m was measured in a group (1 x 10[6] cells) of MIN6 cells stably transfected with aequorin targeted at the mitochondria. Exogenous ATP (0.25 mmol/l) produced a single transient increase in [Ca2+]c whereas 22 mmol/l KCl produced a sustained plateau increase. ATP and KCl evoked transient increases in [Ca2+]m but with distinct time courses of [Ca2+]m decline: the [Ca2+]m increase induced by ATP decreased more rapidly than that induced by KCl. Nitrendipine (3 micromol/l), a blocker of L-type Ca2+ channels, inhibited both [Ca2+]c and [Ca2+]m signals in response to KCl and tolbutamide, but not those to ATP. Peak levels of [Ca2+]m increase (around 2 micromol/ l) exceeded those of [Ca2+]c increase (around 500 nmol/l). A rise in glucose concentration from 3 to 30 mmol/l induced oscillations of [Ca2+]c that overlay the sustained increases in [Ca2+]c in single cells. An oscillatory increase in [Ca2+]m was similarly observed in response to glucose. Addition of 10 mmol/l 2-ketoisocaproic acid at 20 mmol/l glucose further increased the plateau level of [Ca2+]c and the frequency of [Ca2+]c oscillations, which were correlated with a further increase in [Ca2+]m. In response to pulsatile exposure to KCl, [Ca2+]c and [Ca2+]m increased synchronously. These data suggest that an oscillatory increase in [Ca2+]m in beta cells, the signal which is thought to be necessary for continuous stimulation of mitochondrial metabolism, is produced synchronously with the [Ca2+]c oscillations.

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