Bioenergetic response of pancreatic islets to stimulation by fuel molecules

Metabolism. 1989 Dec;38(12):1188-95. doi: 10.1016/0026-0495(89)90158-3.


The relationship of fuel-stimulated insulin secretion and the beta-cell bioenergetic state was investigated in isolated rat islets. In islets perifused with 5 mmol/L glucose to maintain a high basal energy state, stimulation by 9 to 28 mmol/L glucose increased the [ATP]/[ADP] and [GTP]/[GDP]. The rise in the former occurred prior to, or coincident with, the onset of insulin secretion and was dependent on glucose concentration. The increase in the latter appeared to lag behind the alteration in the [ATP]/[ADP] and achieved statistical significance after 30 minutes of incubation. Addition of 20 mmol/L alpha-ketoisocaproic acid, a powerful secretagogue, also caused a rise in the [ATP]/[ADP]. By contrast, 20 mmol/L lactate, which affected insulin secretion only minimally, failed to alter nucleotide concentrations. These data support the hypothesis that an increase in the islet energy state is a metabolic signal linking fuel metabolism with initiation of insulin secretion.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Diphosphate / metabolism
  • Adenosine Monophosphate / metabolism
  • Adenosine Triphosphate / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Chromatography / methods
  • Energy Metabolism / drug effects
  • Glucose / pharmacology*
  • Guanosine Diphosphate / metabolism
  • Guanosine Triphosphate / metabolism
  • Insulin / metabolism*
  • Insulin Secretion
  • Islets of Langerhans / drug effects*
  • Islets of Langerhans / metabolism
  • Keto Acids / pharmacology
  • Lactates / pharmacology
  • Male
  • Perfusion
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains


  • Insulin
  • Keto Acids
  • Lactates
  • Guanosine Diphosphate
  • Adenosine Monophosphate
  • Adenosine Diphosphate
  • alpha-ketoisocaproic acid
  • Guanosine Triphosphate
  • Adenosine Triphosphate
  • Glucose