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Diabete Metab. 1994 Mar-Apr;20(2):123-31.

The role of Ca2+ in the release of pancreatic islet hormones.

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Department of Medical Cell Biology, University of Uppsala, Sweden.


The role of Ca2+ in initiating exocytosis of granule-bound secretory products was evaluated with respect to pancreatic islet hormones. Apart from stimulating the transfer of the granules to the plasma membrane and their subsequent extrusion, a rise of the cytoplasmic Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i) may under certain conditions also have depressive effects on insulin release. Glucose has a bidirectional action on [Ca2+]i by stimulating both the entry of the ion and its removal by organelle sequestration and outward transport. The recognition of glucose as a secretory stimulus is based on sudden transitions between oscillatory and steady-state [Ca2+]i at threshold concentrations of the sugar characteristic for the individual beta-cell. The intrinsic ability of each beta-cell to generate oscillations of [Ca2+]i and the subsequent synchronization of these signals result in a pulsatile release of insulin from isolated islets. Glucose regulation of this process is manifested as alterations of the amplitudes of the insulin pulses without effects on the frequency. It is suggested that electrical signalling from the beta-cells in combination with direct effects of glucose are important for regulating the release of glucagon and somatostatin.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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