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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2005 Apr 29;330(1):327-32.

Glucagon production of the rat insulinoma cell line INS-1-A quantitative comparison with primary rat pancreatic islets.

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Department of Internal Medicine I, University of Regensburg, 93042 Regensburg, Germany. <>


The rat insulinoma cell line INS-1 is the most commonly used clonal cell model in pancreatic beta-cell research. Considering the multihormonality of many insulinomas we examined as to how INS-1 cells comply with the notion of resembling a pure beta-cell line. Glucagon immunoassays revealed that INS-1 cells secrete glucagon in a similar range as islets. By immunohistochemistry we detected a cytoplasmic glucagon signal in INS-1 cells which colocalized with C-peptide. Cellular content of preproglucagon-mRNA and glucagon protein in INS-1 cells was less than two percent of the respective values in islets, which probably reflects differences in the intracellular metabolism and/or secretory pathways. Taken together, it is obvious that INS-1 cells do not represent an exclusively insulin producing beta-cell line.

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