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Hernandez-Cruz, A; Hiriart, M; Navarro-Tableros, V; Fiordelisio, T (2007)


AM J PHYSIOL-ENDOC M 292(4):E1018-E1029
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Physiological development of insulin secretion, calcium channels, and GLUT2 expression of pancreatic rat beta-cells. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab 292: E1018-E1029, 2007. First published December 5, 2006; doi:10.1152/ajpendo.00457.2006. - Insulin secretion in mature beta-cells increases vigorously when extracellular glucose concentration rises. Glucose-stimulated insulin secretion depends on Ca2+ influx through voltage-gated Ca2+ channels. During fetal development, this structured response is not well established, and it is after birth that beta-cells acquire glucose sensitivity and a robust secretion. We compared some elements of glucose-induced insulin secretion coupling in beta-cells obtained from neonatal and adult rats and found that neonatal cells are functionally immature compared with adult cells. We observed that neonatal cells secrete less insulin and cannot sense changes in extracellular glucose concentrations. This could be partially explained because in neonates Ca2+ current density and synthesis of mRNA alpha 1 subunit Ca2+ channel are lower than in adult cells. Interestingly, immunostaining for alpha 1B, alpha 1C, and alpha 1D subunits in neonatal cells is similar in cytoplasm and plasma membrane, whereas it occurs predominantly in the plasma membrane in adult cells. We also observed that GLUT2 expression in adult beta-cells is mostly located in the membrane, whereas in neonatal cells glucose transporters are predominantly in the cytoplasm. This could explain, in part, the insensitivity to extracellular glucose in neonatal beta-cells. Understanding neonatal beta-cell physiology and maturation contributes toward a better comprehension of type 2 diabetes physiopathology, where alterations in beta-cells include diminished L-type Ca2+ channels and GLUT2 expression that results in an insufficient insulin secretion.