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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1998 Nov 17;859:241-8.

Expression of functional GABAA receptors in isolated human insulinoma cells.

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Abteilung Innere Medizin/Gastroenterologie, Universitätsklinikum Benjamin Franklin, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany.


Pancreatic islets contain and release high concentrations of GABA. GABA is thought to play a paracrine role in beta-cells. Searching for a paracrine function of GABA in neoplastic beta-cells we performed patch-clamp studies in isolated human insulinoma cells. We show that human insulinoma cells can express functional GABAA receptors. Activation of GABAA receptors caused a reversible membrane depolarization in a subgroup of insulinoma cells. Membrane depolarization resulted in transmembraneous calcium influx through voltage-gated calcium channels and stimulation of insulin secretion. Insulin secretion was increased by the GABAA receptor agonist muscimol (50 microM) by about 280%. Thus, GABAA receptors can be expressed in human insulinoma cells and can regulate their insulin release.

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