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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2005 Jun 20;1724(1-2):23-36. Epub 2005 Apr 21.

Substrate effects on oscillations in metabolism, calcium and secretion in single mouse islets of Langerhans.

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Department of Chemistry, University of Michigan, 930 N. University, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1055, USA.


Glucose induces complex patterns of oscillations in intracellular Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i), metabolism and secretion in islets of Langerhans including "slow" and "fast" pulses with period of 2-5 min and 10-20 s respectively. In an effort to elucidate the origin of slow oscillations, individual mouse islets were exposed to different fuels including glyceraldehyde, pyruvate, methyl pyruvate and alpha-ketoisocaproate (KIC), all of which bypass key steps of glycolytic metabolism, while monitoring [Ca2+]i, oxygen consumption and secretion. Glyceraldehyde gave rise to slow oscillations only when substimulatory glucose was also added to the media. Glucosamine, an inhibitor of glucokinase, blocked these slow oscillations. KIC, pyruvate, and methyl pyruvate did not give rise to slow oscillations alone or with glucose present. The addition of glucose to islets bathed in nutrient-rich cell culture media accelerated metabolism and initiated slow oscillations while glyceraldehyde did not. It is concluded that glucose has a special role in accelerating metabolism and generating slow oscillations in isolated islets of Langerhans from mice. Combined with previous observations of Ca2+ dependency for all oscillations in islets, we propose that interactions between Ca2+ influx and glycolysis are responsible for the slow oscillations. In contrast, fast oscillations can occur independent of glycolytic flux.

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