Distinct biochemical, electrochemical and electromechanical coupling processes of pancreatic β-cells may well underlie different response patterns of insulin release from glucose and capsaicin stimulation. Intracellular Ca(2+) levels increased rapidly and dose-dependently upon glucose stimulation, accompanied with about threefold rapid increases in cellular stiffness. Subsequently, cellular stiffness diminished rapidly and settled at a value about twofold of the baseline. Capsaicin caused a similar transient increase in intracellular Ca(2+) changes. However, cellular stiffness increased gradually to about twofold until leveling off. The current study characterizes for the first time the biophysical properties underlying glucose-induced biphasic responses of insulin secretion, distinctive from the slow and single-phased stiffness response to capsaicin despite similar changes in intracellular Ca(2+) levels. The integrated AFM nanorobotics and optical investigation enables the fine dissection of mechano-property from ion channel activities in response to specific and non-specific agonist stimulation, providing novel biomechanical markers for the insulin secretion process.
From the clinical editor: This study characterizes the biophysical properties underlying glucose-induced biphasic responses of insulin secretion. Integrated AFM nanorobotics and optical investigations provided novel biomechanical markers for the insulin secretion process.
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