Pancreatic islet cells: effects of monosaccharides, glycolytic intermediates and metabolic inhibitors on membrane potential and electrical activity

J Physiol. 1975 Mar;246(2):459-78. doi: 10.1113/jphysiol.1975.sp010899.


1. The effects of monosaccharides, glycolytic intermediates, metabolic inhibitors and anxia, have been studied on the membrane electrical activity of mouse pancreatic islet cells in vitro using a single intracellular micro-electrode for both voltage recording and current injection. 2. In addition to D-glucose (28mM), D-mannose (16-6mM), and L-leucin (10mM), the substances D-glyceraldehyde (11mM), and acetoacetate (20 mM), induced action potentials in islet cells but other glucos analogues and metabolic intermediates including L-glucose dod not. 3. Mannoheptulose 20 mM), but not D-galactose or 2-deoxy-D-glucose, antagonized the electrical activity induced in islet cells by D-glucose, 28mM. Prior treatment of the cells with mannoheptulose caused them to hyperpolarize and completely prevented the appearance of electrical activity on subsequent exposure to D-glucose. 4. Electrical activity induced by D0glucose 28mM, was progressively inhibited by phloridzin, 10mM, if the cells were exposed to D-glucose and inhibitor simultaneously, and abolished on pretreatment with inhibitor for 30-60 min. Phloridzin also caused depolarization of the islet cells which was independent of extracellular glucose. 5. Anoxia completely blocked the electrical activity induced by glucose but not that evoked by D-glyceraldehyde, L-leucine, tolbutamide or glibenclamide. 6. Iodoacetic acid, 5 mM, rapidly blocked glucose-induced electrical activity whilst that elicited by tolbutamide was relatively resistant to inhibition. 7. The nature and possible location of the glucoreceptor in pancreatic islet cells is discussed in relation to the origin and functional significance of glucose-induced electrical activity and insulin secretion.

MeSH terms

  • Acetoacetates / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Deoxyglucose / pharmacology
  • Galactose / pharmacology
  • Glucose / pharmacology
  • Glyceraldehyde / pharmacology
  • Glycolysis
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Iodoacetates / pharmacology
  • Islets of Langerhans / cytology
  • Islets of Langerhans / drug effects
  • Islets of Langerhans / physiology*
  • Mannoheptulose / pharmacology
  • Mannose / pharmacology
  • Membrane Potentials / drug effects*
  • Mice
  • Monosaccharides / pharmacology*
  • Oxygen / pharmacology
  • Phlorhizin / pharmacology


  • Acetoacetates
  • Iodoacetates
  • Monosaccharides
  • Glyceraldehyde
  • Mannoheptulose
  • Deoxyglucose
  • Phlorhizin
  • Glucose
  • Mannose
  • Oxygen
  • Galactose