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Cell Calcium. 2008 Jan;43(1):39-47. Epub 2007 May 11.

Glucose induces synchronous mitochondrial calcium oscillations in intact pancreatic islets.

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Instituto de Bioingeniería, Universidad Miguel Hernández, Elche, Spain.


Mitochondria shape Ca(2+) signaling and exocytosis by taking up calcium during cell activation. In addition, mitochondrial Ca(2+) ([Ca(2+)](M)) stimulates respiration and ATP synthesis. Insulin secretion by pancreatic beta-cells is coded mainly by oscillations of cytosolic Ca(2+) ([Ca(2+)](C)), but mitochondria are also important in excitation-secretion coupling. Here, we have monitored [Ca(2+)](M) in single beta-cells within intact mouse islets by imaging bioluminescence of targeted aequorins. We find an increase of [Ca(2+)](M) in islet-cells in response to stimuli that induce either Ca(2+) entry, such as extracellular glucose, tolbutamide or high K(+), or Ca(2+) mobilization from the intracellular stores, such as ATP or carbamylcholine. Many cells responded to glucose with synchronous [Ca(2+)](M) oscillations, indicating that mitochondrial function is coordinated at the whole islet level. Mitochondrial Ca(2+) uptake in permeabilized beta-cells increased exponentially with increasing [Ca(2+)], and, particularly, it became much faster at [Ca(2+)](C)>2 microM. Since the bulk [Ca(2+)](C) signals during stimulation with glucose are smaller than 2 microM, mitochondrial Ca(2+) uptake could be not uniform, but to take place preferentially from high [Ca(2+)](C) microdomains formed near the mouth of the plasma membrane Ca(2+) channels. Measurements of mitochondrial NAD(P)H fluorescence in stimulated islets indicated that the [Ca(2+)](M) changes evidenced here activated mitochondrial dehydrogenases and therefore they may modulate the function of beta-cell mitochondria. Diazoxide, an activator of K(ATP), did not modify mitochondrial Ca(2+) uptake.

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