Using medium with a low ionic strength, a low concentration of Ca2+ and Mg2+ and devoid of K+, we have measured Ca2+-ATPase activity in the homogenates of rat islets preincubated for 3 min with several hormones in the presence of 3·3 mmol glucose/l. Insulin secretion was also measured in islets incubated for 5 min under identical experimental conditions. Islets preincubated with glucose (3·3 mmol/l) and glucagon (1·4 μmol/l) plus theophylline (10 mmol/l), ACTH (0·11 nmol/l), bovine GH (0·46 μmol/l), prolactin (0·2 μmol/l) or tri-iodothyronine (1·0 nmol/l) have significantly lower Ca2+-ATPase activity than those preincubated with only 3·3 mmol glucose/l. All these hormones increased the release of insulin significantly.
Dexamethasone (0·1 μmol/l) and somatostatin (1·2 μmol/l) enhanced the Ca2+-ATPase activity while adrenaline (10 μmol/l) did not produce any significant effect on the activity of the enzyme. These hormones decreased the release of insulin significantly.
These results demonstrated that islet Ca2+-ATPase activity was modulated by the hormones tested. Their inhibitory or enhancing effect seemed to be related to their effect on insulin secretion; i.e. those which stimulated the secretion of insulin inhibited the activity of the enzyme and vice versa. Hence, their effect on insulin secretion may be due, in part, to their effect on enzyme activity and consequently on the concentration of cytosolic Ca2+. These results reinforce the assumption that Ca2+-ATPase activity participates in the physiological regulation of insulin secretion, being one of the cellular targets for several agents which affect this process.
Journal of Endocrinology (1992) 134, 221–225