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Single cell assay of exocytosis from pancreatic islet B cells

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We have measured changes in membrane capacitance (ΔCm) in pancreatic B cells as a single cell assay of insulin secretion. Evidence that depolarization evoked ΔCm reflects exocytosis includes it's voltage, temperature and Ca2+ o dependence. Decreases in Cm, presumably reflecting endocytosis, occur on a variable time scale. Two features that make B cells unique among excitable cells are the large magnitude of ΔCm, when normalized to Ca2+ current, and the rapid “fatigue” of the response for even minimal stimulation, perhaps due to the depletion of a readily releasable pool of vesicles.

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Correspondence to Stanley Misler.

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Gillis, K.D., Misler, S. Single cell assay of exocytosis from pancreatic islet B cells. Pflugers Arch. 420, 121–123 (1992).

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Key Words

  • depolarization-secretion coupling
  • membrane capacitance
  • pancreatic B cell
  • exocytosis
  • endocytosis