Adenine nucleotide regulation in pancreatic beta-cells: modeling of ATP/ADP-Ca2+ interactions

Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2005 Nov;289(5):E839-48. doi: 10.1152/ajpendo.00595.2004. Epub 2005 Jun 28.


Glucose metabolism stimulates insulin secretion in pancreatic beta-cells. A consequence of metabolism is an increase in the ratio of ATP to ADP ([ATP]/[ADP]) that contributes to depolarization of the plasma membrane via inhibition of ATP-sensitive K+ (K(ATP)) channels. The subsequent activation of calcium channels and increased intracellular calcium leads to insulin exocytosis. Here we evaluate new data and review the literature on nucleotide pool regulation to determine the utility and predictive value of a new mathematical model of ion and metabolic flux regulation in beta-cells. The model relates glucose consumption, nucleotide pool concentration, respiration, Ca2+ flux, and K(ATP) channel activity. The results support the hypothesis that beta-cells maintain a relatively high [ATP]/[ADP] value even in low glucose and that dramatically decreased free ADP with only modestly increased ATP follows from glucose metabolism. We suggest that the mechanism in beta-cells that leads to this result can simply involve keeping the total adenine nucleotide concentration unchanged during a glucose elevation if a high [ATP]/[ADP] ratio exits even at low glucose levels. Furthermore, modeling shows that independent glucose-induced oscillations of intracellular calcium can lead to slow oscillations in nucleotide concentrations, further predicting an influence of calcium flux on other metabolic oscillations. The results demonstrate the utility of comprehensive mathematical modeling in understanding the ramifications of potential defects in beta-cell function in diabetes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Diphosphate / metabolism*
  • Adenosine Triphosphate / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Calcium / metabolism*
  • Calcium Channels / metabolism
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Computer Simulation
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Insulin-Secreting Cells / metabolism*
  • Membrane Potentials / physiology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Models, Biological*
  • Potassium Channels / metabolism


  • Calcium Channels
  • Potassium Channels
  • Adenosine Diphosphate
  • Adenosine Triphosphate
  • Glucose
  • Calcium