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Albert Salehi

S Albert Salehi

Research team manager

Albert Salehi

ATP-sensitive K+ channel-dependent regulation of glucagon release and electrical actiflty by glucose in wild-type and SUR1(-/-) mouse alpha-cells


  • J Gromada
  • Xiaosong Ma
  • M Hoy
  • K Bokvist
  • S Albert Salehi
  • PO Berggren
  • P Rorsman

Summary, in English

Patch-clamp recordings and glucagon release measurements were combined to determine the role of plasma membrane ATP-sensitive K+ channels (K-ATP channels) in the control of glucagon secretion from mouse pancreatic alpha-cells. In wild-type mouse islets, glucose produced a concentration-dependent (half-maximal inhibitory concentration [IC50] = 2.5 mmol/l) reduction of glucagon release. Maximum inhibition (similar to50%) was attained at glucose concentrations >5 mmol/l. The sulfonylureas tolbutamide (100 mumol/l) and glibenclamide (100 nmol/l) inhibited glucagon secretion to the same extent as a maximally inhibitory concentration of glucose. In mice lacking functional KATP channels (SUR1(-/-)), glucagon secretion in the absence of glucose was lower than that observed in wild-type islets and both glucose (0-20 mmol/l) and the sulfonylureas failed to inhibit glucagon secretion. Membrane potential recordings revealed that a-cells generate action potentials in the absence of glucose. Addition of glucose depolarized the alpha-cell by similar to7 mV and reduced spike height by 30% Application of tolbutamide likewise depolarized the alpha-cell (similar to17 mV) and reduced action potential amplitude (43%). Whereas insulin secretion increased monotonically with increasing external K+ concentrations (threshold 25 mmol/l), glucagon secretion was paradoxically suppressed at intermediate concentrations (5.6-15 mmol/l), and stimulation was first detectable at > 25 mmol/l K+. In alpha-cells isolated from SUR1(-/-) mice, both tolbutamide and glucose failed to produce membrane depolarization. These effects correlated with the presence of a small (0.13 nS) sulfonylurea-sensitive conductance in wild-type but not in SUR1(-/-) a-cells. Recordings of the free cytoplasmic Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+](i)) revealed that, whereas glucose lowered [Ca2+](i) to the same extent as application of tolbutamide, the Na+ channel blocker tetrodotoxin, or the Ca2+ channel blocker Co2+ in wild-type alpha-cells, the sugar was far less effective on [Ca2+](i) in SUR1(-/-) alpha-cells. We conclude that the K-ATP channel is involved in the control of glucagon secretion by regulating the membrane potential in the alpha-cell in a way reminiscent of that previously documented in insulin-releasing beta-cells. However, because alpha-cells possess a different complement of voltage-gated ion channels involved in action potential generation than the beta-cell, moderate membrane depolarization in alpha-cells is associated with reduced rather than increased electrical activity and secretion.


  • Department of Experimental Medical Science
  • Islet cell physiology

Publishing year










Document type

Conference paper


American Diabetes Association


  • Endocrinology and Diabetes

Conference name

5th Servier-IGIS Symposium

Conference date

2004-03-18 - 2004-03-20

Conference place

St Jean Cap Ferrat, France



Research group

  • Islet cell physiology


  • ISSN: 0012-1797