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Q J Exp Physiol. 1983 Apr;68(2):233-45.

Beta cell membrane potential and insulin release; role of calcium and calcium:magnesium ratio.


Glucose-induced insulin release from perfused rat pancreas was compared with glucose-induced changes in membrane potential of beta cells from mouse islets. Extracellular concentrations of Ca and Mg were varied as steps, simultaneously or separately, from 10% to 200% of normal in the presence of 11.1 mM glucose. A change in Ca induced a transient change in electrical activity paralleled by a transient change in insulin release. If the Ca/Mg ratio was maintained, steady-state insulin release remained constant between 10% and 200% Ca, while electrical activity showed alterations. Analysis of burst parameters indicated that increased or decreased Ca entry was balanced by decreased or increased excitability. It is postulated that the beta cell contains a compensator mechanism for the regulation of Ca influx.

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