K+ channel openers and insulin release

Life Sci. 1992;51(11):795-806. doi: 10.1016/0024-3205(92)90606-p.


Recent in vivo and in vitro experiments suggested that the smooth muscle relaxation mediated by diverse pharmacologic agents resulted from K+ channel opening. Pinacidil, cromakalim, nicorandil, RP 49356, minoxidil sulfate and diazoxide belong to this new group of smooth muscle relaxants: the "K+ channel openers". Because modifications in the K+ permeability are known to represent a critical event in the insulin-releasing process, numerous studies have been performed in order to examine the putative effects of K+ channel openers on B-cell function. The aim of the present review is to summarize these experimental data which are sometimes divergent.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Insulin / metabolism*
  • Insulin Secretion
  • Ion Channel Gating / drug effects*
  • Islets of Langerhans / drug effects
  • Islets of Langerhans / metabolism
  • Potassium Channels / physiology*


  • Insulin
  • Potassium Channels