Release of small transmitters through kiss-and-run fusion pores in rat pancreatic beta cells

Cell Metab. 2006 Oct;4(4):283-90. doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2006.08.011.


Exocytosis of secretory vesicles begins with a fusion pore connecting the vesicle lumen to the extracellular space. This pore may then expand or it may close to recapture the vesicle intact. The contribution of the latter, termed kiss-and-run, to exocytosis of pancreatic beta cell large dense-core vesicles (LDCVs) is controversial. Examination of single vesicle fusion pores demonstrated that rat beta cell LDCVs can undergo exocytosis by rapid pore expansion, by the formation of stable pores, or via small transient kiss-and-run fusion pores. Elevation of cAMP shifted LDCV fusion pore openings to the transient mode. Under this condition, the small fusion pores were sufficient for release of ATP, stored within LDCVs together with insulin. Individual ATP release events occurred coincident with amperometric "stand alone feet" representing kiss-and-run. Therefore, the LDCV kiss-and-run fusion pores allow small transmitter release but likely retain the larger insulin peptide. This may represent a mechanism for selective intraislet signaling.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Triphosphate / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Cell Communication
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Exocytosis / physiology
  • Female
  • Insulin-Secreting Cells / metabolism*
  • Membrane Fusion / physiology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Secretory Vesicles / metabolism*
  • Synaptic Vesicles / metabolism
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid / metabolism


  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid
  • Adenosine Triphosphate