Send to

Choose Destination
Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2011 May 16;338(1-2):46-57. doi: 10.1016/j.mce.2011.02.019. Epub 2011 Mar 1.

Reduction of plasma membrane glutamate transport potentiates insulin but not glucagon secretion in pancreatic islet cells.

Author information

Department of Cell Physiology and Metabolism, University Medical Centre, Geneva, Switzerland.


Glutamate is generated during nutrient stimulation of pancreatic islets and has been proposed to act both as an intra- and extra-cellular messenger molecule. We demonstrate that glutamate is not co-secreted with the hormones from intact islets or purified α- and β-cells. Fractional glutamate release was 5-50 times higher than hormone secretion. Furthermore, various hormone secretagogues did not elicit glutamate efflux. Interestingly, epinephrine even decreased glutamate release while increasing glucagon secretion. Rather than being co-secreted with hormones, we show that glutamate is mainly released via plasma membrane excitatory amino acid transporters (EAAT) by uptake reversal. Transcripts for EAAT1, 2 and 3 were present in both rat α- and β-cells. Inhibition of EAATs by L-trans-pyrrolidine-2,4-dicarboxylate augmented intra-cellular glutamate and α-ketoglutarate contents and potentiated glucose-stimulated insulin secretion from islets and purified β-cells without affecting glucagon secretion from α-cells. In conclusion, intra-cellular glutamate-derived metabolite pools are linked to glucose-stimulated insulin but not glucagon secretion.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center