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Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2003 Jul;285(1):E138-54. Epub 2003 Mar 18.

Modeling of Ca2+ flux in pancreatic beta-cells: role of the plasma membrane and intracellular stores.

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Department of Medicine, University of Chicago, Illinois 60637, USA.


We have developed a detailed mathematical model of ionic flux in beta-cells that includes the most essential channels and pumps in the plasma membrane. This model is coupled to equations describing Ca2+, inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP3), ATP, and Na+ homeostasis, including the uptake and release of Ca2+ by the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). In our model, metabolically derived ATP activates inward Ca2+ flux by regulation of ATP-sensitive K+ channels and depolarization of the plasma membrane. Results from the simulations support the hypothesis that intracellular Na+ and Ca2+ in the ER can be the main variables driving both fast (2-7 osc/min) and slow intracellular Ca2+ concentration oscillations (0.3-0.9 osc/min) and that the effect of IP3 on Ca2+ leak from the ER contributes to the pattern of slow calcium oscillations. Simulations also show that filling the ER Ca2+ stores leads to faster electrical bursting and Ca2+ oscillations. Specific Ca2+ oscillations in isolated beta-cell lines can also be simulated.

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