MIN6 Beta-Cell-Beta-Cell Interactions Influence Insulin Secretory Responses to Nutrients and Non-Nutrients

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2006 Apr 28;343(1):99-104. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2006.02.003. Epub 2006 Feb 10.


Insulin-secreting MIN6 cells show greatly enhanced secretory responsiveness to nutrients when grown as islet-like structures (pseudoislets). Since beta-cells use different mechanisms to respond to nutrient and non-nutrient stimuli, we have now investigated the role of homotypic beta-cell interactions in secretory responses to pharmacological or receptor-operated non-nutrient stimuli in MIN6 pseudoislets. In addition to an enhanced secretory responsiveness to glucose, insulin secretion from MIN6 pseudoislets was also enhanced by non-nutrients, including carbachol, tolbutamide, PMA, and forskolin. The improved secretory responsiveness was dependent on the cells being configured as pseudoislets and was lost on dispersal of the pseudoislets into single cells and regained on the re-formation of pseudoislet structures. These observations emphasise the importance of islet anatomy on secretory responsiveness, and demonstrate that homotypic beta-cell interactions play an important role in generating physiologically appropriate insulin secretory responses to both nutrient and non-nutrient stimuli.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carbachol / pharmacology
  • Cell Communication*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cholinergic Agonists / pharmacology
  • Colforsin / pharmacology
  • Glucose / pharmacology
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Insulin / metabolism*
  • Insulin Secretion
  • Insulin-Secreting Cells / drug effects
  • Insulin-Secreting Cells / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Tolbutamide / pharmacology


  • Cholinergic Agonists
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Insulin
  • Colforsin
  • Carbachol
  • Tolbutamide
  • Glucose