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J Biol Chem. 2007 Jan 19;282(3):1747-56. Epub 2006 Nov 30.

Glucose stimulates Ca2+ influx and insulin secretion in 2-week-old beta-cells lacking ATP-sensitive K+ channels.

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Unit of Endocrinology and Metabolism, University of Louvain Faculty of Medicine, UCL 55.30, Avenue Hippocrate 55, B-1200 Brussels, Belgium.


In adult beta-cells glucose-induced insulin secretion involves two mechanisms (a) a K(ATP) channel-dependent Ca(2+) influx and rise of cytosolic [Ca(2+)](c) and (b) a K(ATP) channel-independent amplification of secretion without further increase of [Ca(2+)](c). Mice lacking the high affinity sulfonylurea receptor (Sur1KO), and thus K(ATP) channels, have been developed as a model of congenital hyperinsulinism. Here, we compared [Ca(2+)](c) and insulin secretion in overnight cultured islets from 2-week-old normal and Sur1KO mice. Control islets proved functionally mature: the magnitude and biphasic kinetics of [Ca(2+)](c) and insulin secretion changes induced by glucose, and operation of the amplifying pathway, were similar to adult islets. Sur1KO islets perifused with 1 mm glucose showed elevation of both basal [Ca(2+)](c) and insulin secretion. Stimulation with 15 mm glucose produced a transient drop of [Ca(2+)](c) followed by an overshoot and a sustained elevation, accompanied by a monophasic, 6-fold increase in insulin secretion. Glucose also increased insulin secretion when [Ca(2+)](c) was clamped by KCl. When Sur1KO islets were cultured in 5 instead of 10 mm glucose, [Ca(2+)](c) and insulin secretion were unexpectedly low in 1 mm glucose and increased following a biphasic time course upon stimulation by 15 mm glucose. This K(ATP) channel-independent first phase [Ca(2+)](c) rise was attributed to a Na(+)-, Cl(-)-, and Na(+)-pump-independent depolarization of beta-cells, leading to Ca(2+) influx through voltage-dependent calcium channels. Glucose indeed depolarized Sur1KO islets under these conditions. It is suggested that unidentified potassium channels are sensitive to glucose and subserve the acute and long-term metabolic control of [Ca(2+)](c) in beta-cells without functional K(ATP) channels.

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