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Diabetes. 2005 Sep;54(9):2734-43.

Glucagon-like peptide 1 regulates sequential and compound exocytosis in pancreatic islet beta-cells.

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University of Toronto, 1 Kings College Circle, Room 7226, Toronto, ON, Canada.


Glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) has been postulated to potentiate insulin secretion by cAMP-mediated enhancement of mobilization and priming of secretory granules, but the precise exocytic events are unknown. We used epi-fluorescent microscopy of the fluorescent dye FM1-43, which incorporates into the plasma membrane and the exocytosing secretory granules (appearing as plasma membrane hotspots). KCl evoked exocytosis of 1.8 +/- 0.5 hotspots/rat beta-cell at the cell periphery, 82% of which are single transient increases of low amplitudes (151 +/- 7%), suggesting single secretory granule exocytosis; and the remaining 18% are stepwise increases in plasma membrane hotspots with higher amplitudes (170 +/- 9%), suggesting sequential secretory granule to secretory granule exocytic fusions. Addition of GLP-1 increased the hotspots to 6.0 +/- 0.7/beta-cell and exhibited a larger number of stepwise (41%) than transient (10%) increases with higher amplitudes of 259 +/- 19 and 278 +/- 23%, respectively. More interestingly, GLP-1 also evoked a robust and sustained pattern (49%) with even higher amplitudes of 354 +/- 18%, which are likely accelerated sequential secretory granule-secretory granule fusions. Electron microscopy studies collaborated with these imaging results, showing that GLP-1 increased the number of docked secretory granules at the plasma membrane and also increased the number of events showing direct contact of oncoming secretory granules with secretory granules undergoing exocytosis. We conclude that the potentiation of insulin secretion by GLP-1 is contributed by the mobilization of more insulin secretory granules to dock at the plasma membrane and the acceleration of sequential secretory granule-secretory granule fusions.

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