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Endocrinology. 1991 Oct;129(4):2131-8.

The role of Ca(2+)-related events in glucose-stimulated desensitization of insulin secretion.

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Metabolic Research Unit, University of California, San Francisco 94143.


The spontaneous decline of insulin secretion (third phase) that occurs under a variety of secretory conditions is well documented and suggests a general impairment or desensitization of the secretory process. We have examined several aspects of Ca2+ flux as well as regulators of Ca-linked second messenger events in freshly isolated rat islets chronically stimulated with glucose over 24 h, a period that encompasses initial (hour 1), peak (hour 3), and subsequent impaired or desensitized (hour 20-22) secretion. In islets incubated for these periods in HB104 medium with 22 mM glucose, 45Ca2+ uptake did not vary (12.6 +/- 1.6 vs. 10.2 +/- 1.7 vs. 13.2 +/- 3.4 pmol Ca2+/islet.10 min at 1, 3, and 22 h, respectively). Chronic incubation in 2 mM glucose reduced total Ca2+ uptake at each of the time periods, but, again, uptake did not change with desensitization (9.8 +/- 1.4 vs. 6.6 +/- 2.1 vs. 7.8 +/- 2.3 pmol Ca2+/islet.10 min). In 11 mM glucose, the Ca channel antagonist verapamil (1-10 microM) reduced insulin secretion by 55-80% in a dose-dependent manner over 1-3 h; islets continuously exposed to verapamil escaped inhibition by 20 h even at the highest concentration. However, in islets first exposed to 10 microM verapamil only during 20-22 h, hourly insulin secretion was suppressed 25%, 45%, and 33% at 20, 21, and 22 h, respectively, indicating that glucose-desensitized islets were still sensitive to further inhibition of Ca channels. Staurosporine (1 microM), an inhibitor of protein kinase-C activity, progressively inhibited glucose-stimulated insulin secretion from 48% at 1 h to more than 80% by 3 h; again, this inhibitory effect was lost by 20 h of chronic staurosporine. When staurosporine was first administered at 20 h, insulin secretion was modestly suppressed and returned to control values in the next hour. With continuous glucose, the islet response to positive stimulation of endogenous C-kinase activity by carbachol was maintained. The Ca/calmodulin inhibitor trifluoroperazine also inhibited insulin secretion by 75-80% during 1-3 h and continued to exert inhibitory effects through 23 h of continuous administration. We conclude that even though insulin secretion has desensitized to glucose, 1) Ca2+ entry is unchanged and is still regulated by glucose, 2) voltage-dependent Ca channels are still sensitive to blockade by acute verapamil, but can desensitize to chronic verapamil; 3) stimulus-enhanced C-kinase activity may be especially labile during glucose-induced desensitization, while 4) possible Ca/calmodulin potentiation of secretion persists through the three secretory phases.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

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