Background: Vitamin D (vit D) affects glucose metabolism. Receptors of vitamin D have been identified in β cells and studies show that vitamin D deficiency reduces glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS).
Objectives: The aim of this study was to examine the effect of vitamin D on insulin release from isolated islets of rats.
Materials and methods: Islets were isolated from male Wistar rats, weighing 200-250 grams, using the collagenase digestion method. Insulin release was assessed following 24 and 48 hours coincubation of islets with vitamin D (0.1, 1 and 10 nM) and glucose (5.6, 11.1 and 16.7 mM). In addition, islets were preincubated with vitamin D for 24 and 48 hours and GSIS was assessed for one hour in the presence of 5.6 and 16.7 mM glucose.
Results: Coincubation of islets with vitamin D (10 nM) and 11.1 mM glucose increased islet insulin release (37.27 ± 3.75 vs. 24.64 ± 2.83 ng/islet/24 hours; P < 0.05), while vitamin D (1 and 10 nM) decreased insulin release in the presence of 16.7 mM glucose (21.14 ± 3.58 and 18.65 ± 3.84 vs. 37.71 ± 4.63 ng/ islet/24 hours; P < 0.05). Islets preincubation with vitamin D (1 and 10 nM) increased GSIS in the presence of 16.7 mM glucose (4.39 ± 0.73 and 4.39 ± 0.63 vs. 2.07 ± 0.43 ng/islet/1 hour; P < 0.05).
Conclusions: Preincubation of islets with vitamin D increased GSIS but decreased insulin release in coincubation with high levels of glucose. Insulin secretion from β cells in the presence of glucose seems to be related to the dosage of vitamin D and duration of preincubation.
Keywords: Insulin; Pancreatic Islets; Rat; Vitamin D.