The cytoplasmic Ca2+ response to glucose as an indicator of impairment of the pancreatic beta-cell function

Eur J Clin Invest. 1990 Oct;20 Suppl 1:S10-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2362.1990.tb01771.x.


The effects of glucose on the cytoplasmic Ca2+ concentration (Ca2+i) regulating insulin release were investigated using pancreatic beta-cells representative for the normal and diabetic situations. Increase of the glucose concentration resulted in a slight lowering of Ca2+i followed by a rise, often manifested as high amplitude oscillations. The Ca2+i-lowering component in the glucose action associated with suppression of insulin release became particularly prominent when the beta-cells were already depolarized by tolbutamide. Glucose-induced inhibition of insulin release was observed also in experiments with rats made diabetic with streptozotocin or alloxan. Other studies indicated lowering of plasma insulin after intravenous glucose administration in patients with insulin- and noninsulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. Brief exposure of beta-cells to 2.2 mmol l-1 streptozotocin resulted in impairment of the response to glucose, manifested as disappearance of the cyclic variation of Ca2+i. The results indicate that glucose-induced depolarisation is a vulnerable process, the disturbance of which may contribute to insulin secretory defects in diabetes mellitus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium / metabolism*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / physiopathology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / physiopathology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / physiopathology
  • Glucose / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Insulin / metabolism
  • Insulin Secretion
  • Islets of Langerhans / drug effects*
  • Islets of Langerhans / metabolism
  • Mice


  • Insulin
  • Glucose
  • Calcium