Localized exocytosis detected by spatially resolved amperometry in single pancreatic beta-cells

Cell Biochem Biophys. 2000;33(3):227-40. doi: 10.1385/cbb:33:3:227.


Spatially resolved measurements of exocytosis in pancreatic beta-cells were made using amperometry with 1-microm radius electrodes. These measurements revealed that certain portions of a cell actively undergo exocytosis following stimulation with depolarizing agents, but other regions are inactive. The amperometric measurements were compared to measurements made with the membrane indicator dye, FM1-43, which showed uneven increases in fluorescence around the surface of the cell, with amperometric secretion being detected only at the brightest regions. In some instances, a large number of exocytotic events were detected from one electrode position. The number of events was larger than what would be expected based on the number of vesicles that could fit under an electrode of the dimensions used. These results suggest a mechanism of vesicle traffic that allows multiple fusions at a small membrane area.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Dogs
  • Electrodes
  • Exocytosis / physiology*
  • Insulin / physiology
  • Islets of Langerhans / physiology*


  • Insulin