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S. Bordin and colleagues have proposed that the depolarizing effects of acetylcholine and other muscarinic agonists on pancreatic beta-cells are mediated by a calcium release-activated current (CRAC). We support this hypothesis with additional data, and present a theoretical model which accounts for most known data on muscarinic effects. Additional(More)
Intracellular Ca2+ levels were monitored in single, acutely isolated mouse islets of Langerhans by dual emission Indo-1 fluorometry. High-frequency (3.1 min-1) [Ca2+]i oscillations with a brief rising time (1-2 s) and 10 s half-width ('fast' oscillations) were detected in 11 mM glucose. Raising the glucose concentration to 16.7 mM increased the duration of(More)
The molecular mechanism used by environmental chemicals to exert their hormone-like actions is still only partially resolved. Although it generally is accepted that xenoestrogens act at the genomic level by binding to intracellular estrogen receptors, we have shown here that they trigger nongenomic effects in pancreatic beta cells. Both xenoestrogens and(More)
1. Using laser scanning confocal microscopy to image [Ca2+]i within intact murine islets of Langerhans, we analysed the [Ca2+]i signals generated by glucose in immunocytochemically identified alpha-, beta- and delta-cells. 2. Glucagon-containing alpha-cells exhibited [Ca2+]i oscillations in the absence of glucose, which petered out when islets were exposed(More)
Embryonic stem (ES) cells display the ability to differentiate in vitro into a variety of cell lineages. Using a cell-trapping system, we have obtained an insulin-secreting cell clone from undifferentiated ES cells. The construction used allows the expression of a neomycin selection system under the control of the regulatory regions of the human insulin(More)
Taurine is a conditionally essential amino acid for human that is involved in the control of glucose homeostasis; however, the mechanisms by which the amino acid affects blood glucose levels are unknown. Using an animal model, we have studied these mechanisms. Mice were supplemented with taurine for 30 d. Blood glucose homeostasis was assessed by(More)
Buffered Ca(2+) diffusion in the cytosol of neuroendocrine cells is a plausible explanation for the slowness and latency in the secretion of hormones. We have developed a Monte Carlo simulation to treat the problem of 3-D diffusion and kinetic reactions of ions and buffers. The 3-D diffusion is modeled as a random walk process that follows the path of each(More)
Pancreatic β cells, tightly organized in the islet of Langerhans, secrete insulin in response to glucose in a calcium-dependent manner. The calcium input required for this secretory activity is thought to be provided by an oscillatory electrical activity occurring in the form of “bursts” of calcium action potentials. The previous observation that islet(More)
1. Pancreatic beta-cells oscillate synchronously when grouped in islets. Coupling seems essential to maintain this oscillatory behaviour, as isolated cells are unable to oscillate. This allows the islet to be used as a model system for studying the role of coupling in the generation of oscillatory patterns. 2. Pairs of beta-cells were intracellularly(More)
Interaction between the different types of cells within the islet of Langerhans is vital for adequate control of insulin release. Once insulin secretion becomes defective, as in type 2 diabetes, the most useful drugs to increase insulin release are sulfonylureas. It is well-known that sulfonylureas block K(ATP) channels, which results in depolarization of(More)