, Volume 13, Issue 3, pp 251–262 | Cite as

Localized calcium influx in pancreatic β-cells

Its significance for Ca2+-dependent insulin secretion from the islets of langerhans
  • Leslie S. SatinEmail author


Ca2+ influx through voltage-dependent Ca2+ channels plays a crucial role in stimulus-secretion coupling in pancreatic islet β-cells. Molecular and physiologic studies have identified multiple Ca2+ channel subtypes in rodent islets and insulin-secreting cell lines. The differential targeting of Ca2+ channel subtypes to the vicinity of the insulin secretory apparatus is likely to account for their selective coupling to glucose-dependent insulin secretion. In this article, I review these studies. In addition, I discuss temporal and spatial aspects of Ca2+ signaling in β-cells, the former involving the oscillatory activation of Ca2+ channels during glucose-induced electrical bursting, and the latter involving [Ca2+]i elevation in restricted microscopic “domains”, as well as direct interactions between Ca2+ channels and secretory SNARE proteins. Finally, I review the evidence supporting a possible role for Ca2+ release from the endoplasmic reticulum in glucose-dependent insulin secretion, and evidence to support the existence of novel Ca2+ entry pathways. I also show that the β-cell has an elaborate and complex set of [Ca2+]i signaling mechanisms that are capable of generating diverse and extremely precise [Ca2+]i patterns. These signals, in turn, are exquisitely coupled in space and time to the β-cell secretory machinery to produce the precise minute-to-minute control of insulin secretion necessary for body energy homeostasis.

Key Words

Insulin secretion calcium channels islets of Langerhans β-cells 


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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Physiology Medical College of Virginia CampusVirginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmond
  2. 2.Department of Medicine (Endocrinology and Metabolism) Medical College of Virginia CampusVirginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmond
  3. 3.Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Medical College of Virginia CampusVirginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmond

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