Insulin-stimulated insulin secretion in single pancreatic beta cells

Craig A. Aspinwall, Jonathan R.T. Lakey, Robert T. Kennedy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

187 Scopus citations


Functional insulin receptors are known to occur in pancreatic beta cells; however, except for a positive feedback on insulin synthesis, their physiological effects are unknown. Amperometric measurements at single, primary pancreatic beta cells reveal that application of exogenous insulin in the presence or absence of nonstimulatory concentrations of glucose evokes exocytosis mediated by the beta cell insulin receptor. Insulin also elicits increases in intracellular Ca2+ concentration in beta cells but has minimal effects on membrane potential. Conditions where the insulin receptor is blocked or cell surface concentration of free insulin is reduced during exocytosis diminishes secretion induced by other secretagogues, providing evidence for direct autocrine action of insulin upon secretion from the same cell. These results indicate that the beta cell insulin receptor can mediate positive feedback for insulin secretion. The presence of a positive feedback mechanism for insulin secretion mediated by the insulin receptor provides a potential link between impaired insulin secretion and insulin resistance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6360-6365
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number10
StatePublished - Mar 5 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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