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EMBO J. 1992 Aug;11(8):2877-84.

Cytoplasmic calcium transients due to single action potentials and voltage-clamp depolarizations in mouse pancreatic B-cells.

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Department of Medical Biophysics, Gothenburg University, Sweden.


Changes in the cytoplasmic free calcium concentration ([Ca2+]i) in pancreatic B-cells play an important role in the regulation of insulin secretion. We have recorded [Ca2+]i transients evoked by single action potentials and voltage-clamp Ca2+ currents in isolated B-cells by the combination of dual wavelength emission spectrofluorimetry and the patch-clamp technique. A 500-1000 ms depolarization of the B-cell from -70 to -10 mV evoked a transient rise in [Ca2+]i from a resting value of approximately 100 nM to a peak concentration of 550 nM. Similar [Ca2+]i changes were associated with individual action potentials. The depolarization-induced [Ca2+]i transients were abolished by application of nifedipine, a blocker of L-type Ca2+ channels, indicating their dependence on influx of extracellular Ca2+. Following the voltage-clamp step, [Ca2+]i decayed with a time constant of approximately 2.5 s and summation of [Ca2+]i occurred whenever depolarizations were applied with an interval of less than 2 s. The importance of the Na(+)-Ca2+ exchange for B-cell [Ca2+]i maintenance was evidenced by the demonstration that basal [Ca2+]i rose to 200 nM and the magnitude of the depolarization-evoked [Ca2+]i transients was markedly increased after omission of extracellular Na+. However, the rate by which [Ca2+]i returned to basal was not affected, suggesting the existence of additional [Ca2+]i buffering processes.

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