Caffeine mobilized an intracellular Ca2+ pool in intact fura-2-loaded INS-1 cells in suspension exposed to high (16 mM) [glucose], while a minor effect was observed with low (2 mM) [glucose]. Cells were kept in a medium containing diaxozide or no Ca2+ to prevent the influx of extracellular Ca2+. The caffeine-sensitive intracellular Ca2+ pool was within the endoplasmic reticulum since it was depleted by the inhibitor of the reticular Ca2+ pumps thapsigargin and the InsP3-dependent agonist carbachol. No effect of caffeine was observed in the parent glucose-insensitive RINmF5 cells. In microsomes from INS-1 but not RINmF5 cells, the type 2 ryanodine receptor was present as revealed by Western blotting. It was concluded that the endoplasmic reticulum of INS-1 cells possesses caffeine-sensitive type 2 ryanodine receptors Ca2+ channels.