Concentration-Dependency and Time Profile of Insulin Secretion: Dynamic Perifusion Studies With Human and Murine Islets

Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2019 Oct 2:10:680. doi: 10.3389/fendo.2019.00680. eCollection 2019.


The detailed characterization and quantification of the kinetics of glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS) by normal pancreatic islets is of considerable interest for characterizing β-cell dysfunction, assessing the quality of isolated islets, and improving the design of artificial pancreas devices. Here, we performed dynamic evaluation of GSIS by human and mouse islets at high temporal resolution (every minute) in response to different glucose steps using an automated multichannel perifusion instrument. In both species, insulin responses were biphasic (a transient first-phase peak followed by a sustained second-phase), and the amount of insulin released showed a sigmoid-type dependence on glucose concentration. However, compared to murine islets, human islets have (1) a less pronounced first-phase response, (2) a flat secretion rate during second-phase response, (3) a left-shifted concentration response (reaching half-maximal response at 7.9 ± 0.4 vs. 13.7 ± 0.6 mM), and (4) an ~3-fold lower maximal secretion rate (8.3 ± 2.3 vs. 23.9 ± 5.1 pg/min/islet at 30 mM glucose). These results can be used to establish a more informative protocol for the calculation of the stimulation index, which is widely used for islet assessment in both research and clinical applications, but without an accepted standard or clear evidence as to what low- to high-glucose steps can provide better characterization of islet function. Data obtained here suggest that human islet functionality might be best characterized with a dynamic stimulation index obtained with a glucose step from a low of 4-5 to a high of 14-17 mM (e.g., G4 → G16).

Keywords: beta cell function; concentration-response; glucose-stimulated insulin secretion; islet assessment; perifusion; stimulation index; type 1 diabetes.